HBCU to Pro

NC A&T OC Chris Barnette Selected for Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship

N.C. A&T’s offense has averaged better than 30 points per game in each of the past two seasons under offensive coordinator Chris Barnette.

Courtesy of NC A&T Athletics

EAST GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T assistant football coach Chris Barnette has been selected to participate in the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. Barnette will be working with the NFL’s Washington Football Team starting June 1. 

“I will have an opportunity to assist in OTAs (organized team activities), mini-camp and training camp this summer,” said Barnette. “I look forward to growing as a coach, and I look forward to representing North Carolina A&T well.”

Barnette serves as the Aggies offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He arrived in Aggieland in 2015 to coach quarterbacks. On July 23, 2018, head coach Sam Washington promoted him to offensive coordinator. 

In each of the two seasons Barnette has served as offensive coordinator, the Aggies have had the No. 1 rushing offense in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). In 2019, the Aggies ranked 11th in the nation in rushing offense. In each of the past two seasons the Aggies have played, they averaged better than 30 points per game. 

Bill Walsh Diversity

 In 2019, the Aggies averaged 38.1 points per game to rank sixth nationally and first in the MEAC. 

The Aggies also led the MEAC in total offense, red zone offense, time of possession, first downs and fourth-down conversion rate in 2019.  The Aggies won back-to-back MEAC titles, Celebration Bowls and HBCU national championships with Barnette as offensive coordinator. 

Barnette’s primary quarterbacks since 2015 have been Kwashaun Quick, Lamar Raynard and Kylil Carter. Quick helped the Aggies win the inaugural Celebration Bowl in Atlanta in 2015. 

Raynard became one of the most successful quarterbacks in Division I-FCS history as he went 30-2 as a starter. He also broke several longstanding school passing records during his career, and he led the Aggies to two Celebration Bowl and HBCU national titles as a starter. Carter tied the school’s single-game record for total offense in the 2019 Celebration Bowl by compiling 460 yards in the Aggies 64-44 win over Alcorn State. 

N.C. A&T is set to start the 2021 season on Sept. 4 at Furman. 

About the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship:

The program’s objective is to use NFL clubs’ training camps, offseason workout programs and minicamps to give talented coaches opportunities to:

  • Observe
  • Participate
  • Gain experience
  • Ultimately gain a full-time NFL coaching position

Designed as a vocational tool to increase the number of full-time NFL minority coaches, all 32 NFL clubs participate each year. Specific aspects of the program — including hiring, compensation and coaching duties — are administered on a club-by-club basis. The NFL does not mandate any elements of the fellowship to the clubs, but it recommends several best practices, including:

  • Hiring participants for the duration of training camp, including all pre-season games.
  • Encouraging clubs to hire at least two fellows with an offensive coaching background.
  • Mentoring participants in the form of continuing and constructive feedback regarding their work while with the club.

As part of the programs’ evolution, in 2012 the NFL announced the formation of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship Advisory Council, comprised of a distinguished group of NFL coaches and general managers.
Applicants must meet one of the following prerequisites to be considered for the fellowship:

  • Former NFL player
  • Coaching experience at either the high school, college, and/or other football leagues level (CFL, XFL, etc.)

The Process: Applicants will fill out the online application and select the top 5 NFL clubs they have an interest in completing a fellowship with. Clubs will be alerted of the application submission and will reach out to the applicant individually for further steps if they so choose.
Timing: Fellowships can take place during OTAs, minicamps, or Training Camp and the length of the fellowship ranges from a few days to a few weeks. In select cases, clubs have extended a fellow to work on staff with them for a season or year.

NC A&T OC Chris Barnette Selected for Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship
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