George Barnett is in his fourth year as offensive line coach at the University of Iowa after joining the staff in March, 2021. Barnett joined 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 and the Hawkeyes have qualified for bowl games each of the three years he has been on staff (2024 Citrus Bowl, 2022 Music City Bowl, 2022 Citrus Bowl).
Iowa’s offensive line in 2023 continued to grow and improve as six linemen earned All-Big Ten accolades. Center Logan Jones, and guards Connor Colby and Nick DeJong were third team selections. Tackles Mason Richman and Gennings Dunker, and guard Rusty Feth were honorable mention honorees. Everyone except Feth is expected to return in 2024.
The offensive line battled inexperience in 2022 as Iowa started the season with just one junior and one senior among the players in the rotation. Sophomore Mason Richman started all 13 games and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. Iowa’s usual starting line-up included one senior, three sophomores and one redshirt freshman.
In his first season on the Hawkeye staff, Barnett coached an offensive line led by unanimous consensus All-America center Tyler Linderbaum. Linderbaum was the Rimington-Pace Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and was recognized as the best center in the nation as the recipient of the Rimington Trophy. In addition, guard Kyler Schott earned second-team all-conference honors.
Linderbaum was selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, taken as the 25th selection by Baltimore. In addition, Schott (Tampa Bay) signed a free agent contract immediately following the draft. Linderbaum earned the starting position in Baltimore and was named to All-Rookie teams for his play.
In 2023, the Hawkeyes won 10 games, including their final four, to capture the Big Ten West Division for the second time in three years. Iowa advanced to another January bowl game (Citrus Bowl) and finished the season ranked No. 24. The Hawkeyes have been ranked in the final AP Top 25 five of the last six seasons.
Iowa won eight contests in 2022, concluding the season with a 21-0 win over Kentucky in the Music City Bowl and wins in five of its final six games.
The Hawkeyes won 10 games in 2021, winning the Big Ten West Division title and advancing to the conference championship game. Iowa concluded the season with an appearance in the Citrus Bowl and was ranked 23rd in the final national rankings.
Barnett previously was on the coaching staff at Miami (OH) 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. 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 outing. 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, Illinois. 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