Columbus High names football coach

It’s going to be his ninth coaching stop, but his first as a head football coach.

Columbus High has identified Franklin County’s Brian Barnhill as its next head football coach. He won’t officially be the coach until he is approved by the Muscogee County School Board at the March 17 meeting.

Barnhill spent the last three years at Franklin County High in Carnesville, Ga., as the head track and field coach. He didn’t coach football at Franklin County.

“He’s a great find,” Columbus athletic director Marvin Crumbs said. “He’s a unique guy. He’s brilliant. He’s great as an academic teacher and a football coach.”

Before arriving at Franklin County, he had been an assistant football coach at seven schools. He coached at Thomas County Central from 2003-2005, and he got his coaching start with Valdosta in 1994.

“We were looking for the best fit for the future of Columbus High football,” Crumbs said. “It was time to address the need.”

Crumbs said Barnhill is very organized and is a good communicator. His lack of previous head coaching experience didn’t concern Crumbs.

“Everyone has to start somewhere,” Crumbs said.

Barnhill will become the first football coach hired by the Muscogee County School District that didn’t previously play or coach in Columbus since 2003 when Kendrick’s hired Ahmand Tinker.

Barnhill takes over for Paul Cates, who accepted the head coaching job at Northside in February. Cates went 27-43 over the last seven years.

The Blue Devils have had only one winning season in the last decade. They went 6-4 in 2005. Columbus hasn’t made the state playoffs since 1994 when it lost 40-0 to Thomas County Central in the first round.

Messages left for Barnhill on Monday weren’t returned.

Barnhill is scheduled to meet the Blue Devils on Friday.