Barnett first became a head coach at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.
He continued on to get his masters degree in 1971 in education.
Barnett played wide receiver for Missouri from 1966–1969.
After he graduated, he was a successful high school coach at Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado for 11 years, nine as head coach.
His teams won six conference titles and reached the state semi-finals twice, in 19.
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At Colorado, Barnett was suspended briefly in the 2004 offseason due to events stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct by several members of the football team.Barnett attended Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, Missouri and graduated from the University of Missouri in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in social studies.