Dave Barnett, Flagler Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2016, begins his 31st season as head coach of the Flagler baseball program. Already the winningest coach in the program’s history, Barnett has won more than 900 games in his tenure at Flagler.
In 2017, the Saints were one game shy of playing for the Peach Belt Conference Tournament title and was led by Dylan Jones who broke a school and conference record with 27 doubles.
Barnett guided Flagler to one of its best seasons ever in 2015. The Saints finished 32-15 and qualified for the Peach Belt Conference Tournament for the second time since joining the league in 2009. Flagler posted a 24-3 record to open the year, its best start since 2001. The Saints were nationally ranked for 11 consecutive weeks and peaked at No. 8 (March 23). Flagler had a record five academic all-conference selection and had four all-conference honors including the league’s pitcher of the year, Mike O’Reilly.
NFL Tight End – Kyle Brady
During Barnett’s tenure, 41 players have signed professional contracts. He has also seen three former players drafted in the first 10 rounds: Jim Woodrow by the San Francisco Giants in the fifth round (1995), Lonny Landry by the Detroit Tigers in the ninth round (1993) and Andrew “Opie” Brodbeck by the St. Louis Cardinals in the ninth round (2015). Chris Barnwell, a 25th Round selection of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002, is the only Flagler player to reach the Major Leagues. Barnett has also coached numerous players who have garnered all-conference and all-America honors.
Barnett has the unique distinction of playing and coaching at every level of the game. In 1983, he started his coaching career at Jacksonville’s Episcopal High. After graduating with a bachelor’s from Flagler, Barnett then served as an assistant at the University of Iowa (1984-86) while obtaining a master’s in educational administration. He then moved back to Florida to assist at Valencia Community College. From there he was a coach at the Boardwalk & Baseball facility in Haines City, Florida before accepting the head coaching position at Flagler in 1987. In the summer of 2002 and 2003, Barnett served as the manager of the Vermont Expos, a Class A affiliate of the Montreal Expos in the New York-Penn League. He also has international coaching experience as he assisted a group of collegiate players participating in Holland as part of the Dutch Haarlem Baseball Week. Barnett was the head coach of a group of high school all-stars who toured and competed against teams throughout Italy.
Former MLB Manager
As a collegiate player, he played at Seminole Community College in Sanford, Fla., before transferring to the University of North Carolina. He led the Tar Heels in batting average in 1978 and helped lead the team to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska where they finished in third place. Barnett signed a free agent contract with the Montreal Expos, and after one season he joined the world famous four-man fast-pitch softball team, “The King & His Court,” which featured the legendary Eddie Feigner. He barnstormed the world from 1980-83, and again in 1988, as the team’s shortstop.
From 1994-2009, Barnett served the dual role of athletics director and baseball coach at Flagler. During his 15 years as athletics director, Flagler added women’s golf, women’s soccer and fast-pitch softball to the athletics program. During his tenure as athletics director, the program won two Florida Sun Conference Commissioner’s Cups and Barnett was named NAIA Region XIV Athletics Director of the Year in 2001. He was instrumental in Flagler’s transition to NCAA Division II.
Barnett has been a featured clinician at the Florida High School Coaches Association’s clinics numerous times. He has also spoke at the Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Maryland state coaches clinics. Barnett has been a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) for 27 years. He was inducted into the St. Augustine/St. Johns County Hall of Fame in 2008.
Barnett lives in St. Augustine with his wife, Tina, and their two grown children, Chelsi and Tyler. Chelsi is a graduate of Florida Southern College in Lakeland and is a practicing registered nurse at Flagler Hospital while Tyler, a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2008. Tyler and his wife Avery gave the Barnett family their first grandchild (Brooks) in 2014. Then in 2016 their second grandchild (Lucy).