Skyline defensive leader plans to continue Panthers’ winning gridiron traditions
The Bonney Lake High School football team will take the field in September with a new head coach.
Chad Barrett will take over the reins of the program from Jeff Gardner who has been guiding the Panthers since the first scrimmage.
Gardner moved to the vice principal’s chair at Bonney Lake, which opened up the coaching opportunity.
The 29-year-old Barrett was the defensive coordinator for Skyline, which won back-to-back state championships, taking the 3A title in 2007 and the 4A crown in 2008.
Barrett has been designing the defense for the Skyline program for the past five years. He also coached the offensive line at Kentwood for one year.
“This is a great situation and a very exciting time,” Barrett said. “I’ve been up there (to Bonney Lake) three times this week and they are all such good people.”
Barrett grew up in Puyallup and played football at Rogers High for Steve Gervais, who was head coach at Skyline through 2007 before moving to the University of Washington’s football program.
He currently lives in Covington with his wife Cori and 5-month-old son Carson. Barrett said he hopes to land a teaching job in the Sumner School District and move to the area.
According to Gardner, Barrett will “do a great job. All the coaches are staying on board and the kids are ready to keep improving the program.”
Gardner said he thought it was a good time to step down after 26 years pacing the sidelines, 14 as head coach.
“The program is in really good shape,” Gardner said. “It will be kind of strange, but good.”
Gardner said he decided to retire from coaching because his daughter and son will be attending Puyallup High School and both are involved in fall sports. His son plays football and his daughter soccer.
“In four years after my daughter graduates I will see if I still have the coaching bug,” Gardner said.
Gardner’s first head coaching job was with Tacoma’s Stadium High School in 1994. He also headed the gridiron programs at Black Hills High School in Olympia and Puyallup High.
Gardner led the Panthers into the playoffs in 2007 and 2008.
Reach Dennis Box at email@example.com or 360-802-8209.