Barrow - A man of many hats who is NCCA president for 2006-07
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 7, 2006 2:12 PM
Daniel Barrow had tunnel vision. An aspiring athlete on the Western Guilford football field, he never dreamed of the riches associated with his sport. He didn't desire the bartering of contracts or the extensive travel time that would take him away from home.
But Barrow loved football.
"I knew as a seventh-grader that I wanted to be a football coach and teacher," said Barrow. "I always had a passion for football; nothing else I wanted to do."
Barrow attended Guilford College and soaked up as much knowledge as he could about the game. He cultivated that instruction from his teaching and has been applying it ever since at Rosewood High School.
"As a young coach, I remember those guys who you try to emulate," said Barrow. "They did things right and ethical."
Now Barrow has another group to follow -- past North Carolina Coaches Association presidents. The Siler City native served as vice president this past year and began his one-year presidential term during the NCCA clinic held recently in Greensboro.
Barrow is just the second Wayne County coach to serve as NCCA president. Gerald Whisenhunt held the NCCA president post from 1980-81 while head coach at Goldsboro High.
"To be put there by your peers is a tremendous honor; very humbling experience," said the always-modest and soft-spoken Barrow. "It's something that you certainly don't politic for or go after. It's something I never would have expected.
"When I look back at the past list of association presidents, it makes me very humble."
A budding young coach in 1978, Barrow vividly recalls the speakers from the first clinic he attended.
The University of Houston brought its entire coaching staff and talked about the split-back veer offense, which has undergone variations and is widely-used on the high school and collegiate scenes.
Dr. Herb Appenzeller, then athletics director at Guilford College and published author, lectured about ethics in sports.
"He was way ahead of his time," said Barrow, who assisted on the East All-Star coaching staff in 2003. "As a youth, I used to go to the East-West game. I loved every minute of it; enjoyed it so much because that was the kick off to the new football season."
A Bakersfield (Calif.) high school coach talked about using lunch room tokens to motivate his players. Barrow never thought of the idea, but admitted he found humor in the coach's ploy.
In 1948, coaching legend Robert Jamieson and Smth Barrier sat down and discussed organizing a clinic to help teach the state's coaches in their respective sports. Jamieson and Barrier, the sports editor of the Greensboro Daily News at the time, shared their idea with Tony Simeon (from High Point) and Leon Brogden (from Wilmington), and all agreed to start the N.C. Coaches Association.
Barely 100 people attended the clinic during its infant stages and the first all-star contests in football and men's basketball took place in 1949.
The clinic steadily grew from its humble beginning. Once more coaches became involved, the NCCA extended its athletic showcase to include a women's basketball contest in 1975. Men's and women's soccer was added in 1992.
Now there are nearly 7,000 coaches in the NCCA, making it the second-largest organization only to Texas.
"Our organization over the years has been very good," said Barrow.
Until the early 1980s, the clinic didn't involve corporate sponsors. In fact, before one business meeting began, a feeble Simeon eloquently and firmly expressed his discontent of allowing McDonald's to become an official sponsor of the all-star games. Simeon worried the "tail" would "wag the dog" and possibly weaken the integrity of the organization.
As the clinic grew, coaches proposed the idea of adding baseball to the three-day showcase. However, the Board of Directors found it difficult to approve the sport for three major reasons: timing, finding a venue to play and signing a sponsor.
The baseball season extends into late August and most teams, particularly American Legion programs, conclude their respective campaigns around mid-July. Most players haven't enjoyed a summer vacation or are just burned out from playing since early March.
Greensboro does have a minor-league park downtown and could conceivably host the game.
The biggest question mark is sponsorship. Finding a corporation willing to underwrite the sport for a certain number of years isn't an easy task. The clinic endures the expenditures of players' meals for all three sports, housing and a banquet Sunday evening for the athletes prior to the first all-star contest on Monday.
"I've always thought it would be nice if we could showcase all the sports," said Barrow. "But, like everything else, it will cost money. Still, it's a great tradition and one I'm proud to be part of each year."
Numerous topics were presented and discussed in great detail when the Board of Directors meet the Sunday before the three-day clinic starts.
Two items of interest this summer included a coaching fellows scholarship and gold-card membership to the NCCA.
The state legislature passed the proposal for the scholarship and appropriated money for it. The scholarship is similar to the teaching fellows offered by numerous universities. Students who receive the scholarship and remain in the profession for a certain number of years will not have to pay it back.
The N.C. High School Athletic Association plans to work with the N.C. Department of Instruction and state colleges/universities to develop the proper curriculum for the coaching fellows program.
"It's getting tougher and tougher to find good, young coaches now," said Barrow, who will serve on the committee to initiate the plan this year. "This may entice more good people to go into the coaching profession. (Through the scholarship) they can go to area schools to observe how programs are run and different aspects those programs."
The gold-card membership is for people who have been part of the NCCA for 25-plus years.
"The card states they are a life-time member and their association dues are waived," said Barrow.
But, Barrow observed, those were just tidbits the Board experienced and acted upon during this year's meeting. They also assisted with introducing speakers for the individual clinics and monitored each sport during the week.
The Board held another meeting on Thursday after the clinic concluded. The group discussed the games, the pros/cons of the clinics and any other issues that arose during the week.
Barrow said phone calls from the NCHSAA and NCCA members are expected to be the norm as the year progresses. He'll spend time with Mac Morris, clinic executive director; and Phil Weaver, games executive director, to discuss any issues that might surface before next summer's games.
"The games, clinic and association is on solid, financial ground," said Barrow.
A juggling act
Members of the Rosewood community wonder how Barrow juggles all those responsibilities on a daily basis. And don't forget he's assisting RHS Principal David Lewis, who is serving as president of the Class 1-A Carolina Conference this season.
"I think I have the ability to understand what is urgent this minute and separating other stuff to eventually get to (during the day)," said Barrow, who keeps everything running smoothly like the precision of a Timex watch. "Here, at Rosewood, I am very blessed because I have a tremendous staff. They all understand what's on my plate and they are so willing to jump in."
Barrow, now in his 14th season as football coach and 20th overall in athletics, delegates some things and the coaches handle the legwork. Sometimes, a coach will see Barrow's "to-do" list and offer to take care of a particular task.
"We have tremendous respect for each other and we all want Rosewood to look good. We all want Wayne County to look good," said Barrow. "We all want our profession to look good, our sport to look good and our state to look good because we're all part of it.
That's the big picture, though.
Barrow quickly added the "little things" are most important, particularly molding the athletes into good students, parents and model citizens.
"In the coaching profession, you have such a big influence on young people and that can be rewarding," said Barrow. "I think all of us in some small way, perhaps, feel the world was just a little bit better because you were there.
"That's especially true with the profession I'm in because we have that ability to help our communities, our county and our state."
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