As the man behind the first pass in the history of USF football, former Bulls quarterback Chad Barnhardt holds an undeniable place in the archives.
Four years after posting a 13-9 record in USF’s first two seasons, Barnhardt finds himself progressing in a career he hopes will bring him back to Tampa.
Already in his second year coaching at Lake Wales High School, the same school he led to the state championship game as a high school senior, Barnhardt aspires to some day entering the college coaching ranks.
“It would be great if I could keep moving up and find myself coaching in college, and it has become a goal of mine,” Barnhardt said. “I would love to find myself back (at USF). It’s a great feeling to have been a part of bringing that team to where they are now, and it’s something I really miss being around.”
Barnhardt became an assistant coach at Lake Wales in May, following his graduation in December 1998. He is a marketing teacher at the school, but the classroom is something he sees as a necessary evil that is part of his coaching career.
“I shouldn’t say it, but teaching is an unfortunate aspect of my job right now,” said Barnhardt, who graduated with a degree in business. “I really want to be a coach, and the only way I can do it at this point is by teaching in high school. (Lake Wales) is in a rebuilding process right now, but I hope we can turn things around here, (and) I can gain the experience I need to step up in my career.”
In his time at USF, Barnhardt completed 57 percent of his passes for 4,138 yards and 27 touchdowns. Though Marquel Blackwell broke a majority of his records, Barnhardt holds his place in USF football history with high esteem.
“It’s really neat to think back on and remember,” Barnhardt said. “I was lucky to have the opportunity, but I am proud of what I accomplished at USF, and hopefully, my career at the school is not finished just yet.”