Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Barnett Shows Art of Revival at Northwestern

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Barnett Shows Art of Revival at Northwestern

Article excerpt

Gary Barnett won't be the Coach-of-the-Year this time - see, winning has become old hat at Northwestern! - but the man who took the Purple to Pasedena a year ago once again is in the news. After all, not many guys turn down the chance to coach at Notre Dame.

Dan Devine did once, privately in 1963, before moving from the frying pan of Green Bay to the fire of Notre Dame a dozen years later. Unfortunately, Dan'l didn't become at Notre Dame as worthy a coaching memory as he had been in 13 seasons at Missouri, but he turned out the national championship that had just eluded him here.

Still, the challenge and ego of coaching at Notre Dame is probably even more glamorous than at Alabama, though I honestly believe winning at `Bama is even more demanding - correction, demanded! - than at South Bend. Retiring now or shoved, just as Holtz might be at South Bend, Gene Stallings is the fourth coach with a fabulous .800 career percentage for the Crimson Tide, but I just wonder whether he will be remembered as fondly as Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas and his mentor, Bear Bryant. Of the tough acts to follow at Notre Dame - Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, Devine and Holtz - Barnett declined, not because of fear, but obviously with the same kind of judgment by which a year ago he turned down Georgia, Oklahoma and UCLA. Impressive, indeed, as disclosed in Barnett's biography with the Post-Dispatch's Vahe Gregorian. I'm late in getting through "High Hopes," but not for lack of interest in either the Missouri-trained coach or the clever P-D collaborator. Northwestern won't go to the Rose Bowl this time, but the school that once lost 49 consecutive games will be in a competitive holiday game, perhaps against high-profiled passer Peyton Manning and Tennessee. Presumably there will be no question about Barnett's carrying on into the 12-year contract he signed finally last time after, as mentioned, turning down Georgia, Oklahoma and UCLA. …

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