Ernest Barrett was named an assistant coach for the North Carolina A&T cross country/track and field programs by director of track and field programs Duane Ross on September 25, 2017. Barrett will be responsible for coaching N.C. A&T’s men's and women's cross country teams. He will also coach the distance and mid-distance runners for indoor and outdoor track and field programs. Barrett was at the helm of Maryland Eastern Shore’s men's and women cross country/track and field programs for 18 years after previously serving five years as head coach at Coppin State University.
Over his career, Barrett has coached nine NCAA All-Americans, 41 NCAA qualifiers and participants, 71 NCAA preliminary round qualifiers, 19 Olympic trial qualifiers, four World Championship participants, four Olympians, one world record holder and one Indoor World Champion. He has also coached numerous IC4, ECAC and MEAC champions. His latest outstanding athlete was MDES' Khalil Rmidi Kinni, who was MVP for track events at the MEAC outdoor championships for three straight years (2014-16). Rmidi Kinni finished his career with a total of nine MEAC MVPs among cross country, indoor, and outdoor track and field.
Barrett's MDES career also included winning four men’s and women’s cross country titles each. He also owns three MEAC women’s track and field titles with two indoor and one outdoor. He was named MEAC Outstanding Coach of the Year 11 times.
During his time at Coppin, Barrett coached three All-Americans in the 800 (Diana Pitts in 1994, Twana Allen in 1996, and Ian Roberts in 1997), three participants in the USA Track and Field Championships (Pitts in `94, Damion Johnson in `97 and `99), two Olympic trials qualifiers (Pitts and Allen in `96), two World Indoor Track Championship participants (Johnson and Roberts in `99), and one world-record holder and World Champion (Damion Johnson for the United States 4x400-meter relay team in `99).
Barrett served as the assistant coach at Coppin for one year before taking over the reigns as head coach. Prior to working with the Eagles, Barrett was the head coach of the track and field program at Falls Church High School in Falls Church, Va.
A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Barrett also has an outstanding resume as an athlete. He was an Olympic trial qualifier and garnered All-American honors seven times in the 800 meters, the 4x800 meter relay, and 4x400 relay. He was a member of the 4x800 relay team that broke the world record in 1989 with a time of 7:17.77. Barrett is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He enjoyed a successful track career at George Mason University, earning a B.S. degree in community health education in 1991.
Barrett and his wife have two daughters, Tasia and Kristen.