The only coach to win a Big 12 title at Colorado is back in Boulder. Gary Barnett, a former assistant coach on Colorado’s national championship team and three-time Big Eight championship teams and the head coach of the Buffs for a Big 12 title run, has joined the Colorado radio team for the 2015 season. The school and KOA announced Barnett as an addition to the broadcast team in a limited capacity for 2015, with the plan of making him the full-time analyst in 2016 to take over for the retiring Larry Zimmer.
“I think it’s great timing for me and hopefully for the university,” Barnett said in a released statement. “Going through the new facilities (at CU) just really made me want to be a part of this. I’ve enjoyed traveling around the country for the last 10 years, but I gave this a lot of thought and I am looking forward to it. I also appreciate Larry being in favor of it, having the support of the broadcasting icon that he is. I think we’ll have a lot of fun.”
Barnett will be place din the radio booth for two games this season (at UCLA and home vs USC). Barnett will continue working as a commentator for Sports USA Radio Network this fall while getting familiar with the new radio gig at Colorado. If nothing else, it will be good for Colorado to welcome back Barnett in good graces. In 2005, Colorado removed Barnett as head coach of the program with a recruiting scandal brewing under his watch. The school pushed Barnett out the door with a $3 millions settlement after Colorado was destroyed in the Big 12 championship game by Vince Young and the eventual BCS national champions from Texas. It was quite a change of philosophy from Colorado, which had been rumored to be interested in extending Barnett’s contract up until about a month before his dismissal between the Big 12 championship game and bowl season.