George Barnett joined the Iowa football staff as offensive line coach in March, 2021. Barnett joins the Hawkeye football program after being named offensive line coach at Tulane University in December, 2020. Barnett has over 20 seasons of offensive line coaching experience at the collegiate level.
Barnett previously was on the coaching staff at Miami, Ohio for seven seasons. Barnett joined the Miami program as co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach (2014-15). He was later elevated to assistant head coach/co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach in 2016. Miami earned an invitation to the 2016 St. Petersburg Bowl.
During his seven seasons at Miami, Barnett coached seven All-Mid-American Conference award winners, including Tommy Doyle (first team) and Danny Godlevske (third team) in 2019. In 2016, Collin Buchanan was invited to the NFL Combine and later signed a free agent contract with New Orleans.
In Barnett’s final season at Miami in 2020 the Redhawks averaged just under 400 yards total offense, while ranking second in the conference by allowing just four sacks.
In 2019, despite starting a pair of true freshmen up front, the offensive line averaged 130.9 rushing yards per game and allowed just 31 sacks in 14 games as the RedHawks won the MAC Championship and participated in the Lending Tree Bowl. In 2018, Miami averaged 159.8 rushing yards per game and allowed just 20 sacks. The Redhawks averaged over 200 rushing yards per game in conference games.
Prior to his stint at Miami, Barnett was the offensive line coach and running game coordinator at Illinois State for four seasons. He was named offensive coordinator prior to the 2013 season for the Redbirds. Illinois State participated in the FCS Playoffs in 2012.
In his time with the Redbirds the offense averaged 145.7 yards per game on the ground and allowed just 1.3 sacks per game. In 2011 the Redbird offensive line allowed only six sacks in 11 contests, as the team averaged 183.4 rushing yards per game while posting a 7-4 record. The six sacks allowed that season ranked third-best in the country and the Redbirds produced their first 1,000-yard rusher since 2006.
Prior to Illinois State, Barnett had a two-year stint as the offensive line coach at Division II powerhouse Grand Valley State, which advanced to the 2009 NCAA Division II national title game. In his two seasons at GVSU as offensive line coach, he helped the Lakers’ offense become one of the best in the country.
In 2009, GVSU ranked third in the country in sacks allowed (.60), giving up just nine sacks in 15 games. The Lakers also ranked 11th in the country in rushing offense (227.5 ypg), 12th in total offense (450.1 ypg) and 14th in scoring offense (35.8 ppg). Barnett also mentored senior Nick McDonald, who was a consensus Division II All-American and the GLIAC Offensive Lineman of the Year.
In 2008, Barnett guided the GVSU offensive line unit that saw all five of its starters earn All-GLIAC honors. The Lakers finished the season ranked 10th in the nation in scoring (38.5 ppg), 13th in sacks allowed (1.08), 14th in rushing (228.4 ypg) and 25th in total offense (429.0 ypg).
Barnett moved to Grand Valley State after a three-year stint as offensive line coach at Indianapolis. The Greyhound offense increased its production every season behind the Barnett-led offensive line. Grand Valley State advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs in both 2008 and 2009.
Indianapolis recorded four-year highs in passing yards (234.1 ypg), rushing offense (189.2 ypg) and total offense (423.3 ypg) in 2007.
Barnett spent the 2004 season as a graduate assistant coach at Illinois, working under Harry Hiestand with the Illini offensive line. Barnett began his coaching career and taught for five years at Mattoon (Ill.) High School from 1999-2003. He served as assistant head coach for the Green Wave’s state semifinalist team in 2003, working as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
Barnett earned a bachelor of science degree in physical education in 1998 from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill. He was a four-year football letterman and earned all-conference recognition.
Barnett was born Jan. 17, 1976, and is a native of Tuscola, Illinois. George and his wife, Lori, have two children, Elle and James.
Barnett’s Coaching Career
Team – Position, Years
Iowa – OL, 2021-present
Tulane – OL, Dec.-March, 2020
Miami, Ohio – AHC, Co-OC, OL, 2016-20
Miami, Ohio – Co-OC, OL, 2014-15
Illinois State – OC, OL, 2013
Illinois State – OL, 2010-12
Grand Valley State – OL, 2008-09
Indianapolis – OL, 2005-07
Illinois – GA, 2004
Mattoon, Ill. HS – AHC, OL, 1999-03