With the release of USFTCCCA's top coaches in every state, it is time to celebrate the person behind every team's success: their coach. Without the sacrifice and commitment of these coaches, we would not have some of the best team's Mississippi running has ever seen. Keep reading to have a deep dive into the success and future of Mississippi's best high school coaches.
Mississippi Boys Coach of the Year: Chris Barnett(Pearl High School)
Chris Barnett is no stranger to success as a coach, and this year he has once again claimed the USFTCCCA High School Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year award.
Barnett led Pearl High School to a dominant season from start to finish, being the top-ranked Mississippi team at every race they competed. At the pinnacle of the 2023 season, Barnett's team claimed the team and individual victory at the inaugural MHSAA 7A Cross-Cross Country Championships.
Barnett's coaching of the Pearl Pirates squad didn't just stop at winning but also poured over into record-breaking. With their historic team average of 15:54 for the 5000m race, they hold the fastest team average in Mississippi history. Not only did Barnett's athletes break records, but he has also broken a record for himself.
He now has the most USFTCCCA High School Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year awards of any Mississippi coach ever, totaling three titles(2015, 2022, and 2023).