Barnett Steps Down As CU Football Coach
BOULDER-Gary Barnett, who has been at the reins of the University of Colorado football program since 1999, has reached a settlement with the school to step down as its head coach.
Athletic director Mike Bohn will immediately begin the search to hire CU's 23rd head football coach in its history.
Barnett will not coach the Buffaloes in the upcoming Champs Sports Bowl later this month; Bohn will name an interim head coach, most likely as soon as Friday.
Barnett compiled a record of 49-38 in seven seasons at Colorado, with the 87 games and 49 wins both the sixth most in school history. In 168 Division I-A games at both CU and Northwestern, he was 84-83-1, and including two years at Fort Lewis (Colo.) College in the NAIA, he owns a 92-94-2 record in 16 years as a collegiate head coach.
At Colorado, he piloted the Buffaloes to four Big 12 Conference North Division titles (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005), as well as the league title in 2001. Colorado was 7-5 this past season, with his 2001 and 2002 teams finishing No. 9 and No. 20 in the national rankings. He guided the Buffaloes to five bowl berths in his tenure, most recently the upcoming Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando against Clemson on December 27.
"I am pleased that athletic director Mike Bohn and coach Gary Barnett have been able to reach a mutual agreement that will help insure a promising future for our football program," CU-Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano said. "By reaching this agreement, the focus remains on the best interests of our student-athletes. the athletic program and the University. We intend to take the necessary steps to continue moving this program forward into the top tier of competitive intercollegiate athletics.
"This decision will take the football program in a new direction," University of Colorado President Hank Brown sai
Barnett's and the school's lawyers firmed up a financial settlement Thursday afternoon in the amount of $3 million, inclusive to satisfy all agreements of the last contract he signed with the school in 2002.