Former Colorado Buffaloes head football coach Gary Barnett will return to the program this year in a part-time radio role and be in the booth for two games this season. The university made the announcement, which was reported by Kevin McGuire of NBC Sports’ College Football Talk.
Barnett coached the Buffaloes for seven years and went 49-38 (34-22 Big 12) over that stretch, winning a conference title in 2001. He will be in the booth for the Buffaloes in the team’s game on the road against UCLA and at home against USC while also keeping his commentary job at Sports USA Radio.
Barnett offered a brief statement of his own on his return to Boulder.
“I think it’s great timing for me and hopefully for the university,” Barnett said in a released statement. “Going through the new facilities (at CU) just really made me want to be a part of this. I’ve enjoyed traveling around the country for the last 10 years, but I gave this a lot of thought and I am looking forward to it. I also appreciate Larry being in favor of it, having the support of the broadcasting icon that he is. I think we’ll have a lot of fun.”
It also helps that this is something of a positive homecoming for Barnett, who was removed from his position as head coach in 2005 as a recruiting scandal slowly became public. He was paid a $3 million settlement.
But just like the prodigal son, Barnett has now returned. Being 69 years old, the odds of him getting back on the football field to coach are slim, even though the Buffs have gone 6-18 (1-17 Pac-12) in two years under Mike MacIntyre, but the homecoming is nice regardless.
Colorado opens the season on the road against the Mountain West’s Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on September 4.
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