Man, You High School Football Coaches Just Can't Stop Doing Espionage, Can You?

Illustration for article titled Man, You High School Football Coaches Just Can't Stop Doing Espionage, Can You?
Screenshot: KFSM-TV

About a week after a high school coach in Arizona got caught doing the very same thing, a former Arkansas high school football coach has reportedly resigned after he was found to be leaking information about his own school’s football team to an opponent’s coach. Someone call the CDC, it’s an epidemic!


According to the Madison County Record, Randy Barnhill served as both dean of students and head football coach at Huntsville High School until January, when he was relieved of his coaching duties and made full-time dean. Under his coaching, the Huntsville Eagles had posted consecutive 2-8 seasons.

In texts obtained by the Record, a sender believed to be Barnhill—at one point his texts mention officiating a game the Record confirmed Barnhill did officiate—shared Huntsville’s strategies, plays and roster strengths with a football coach at nearby Elkins High School. The texts were sent over a period of several days in the week leading up to the teams’ meeting last Friday (Huntsville lost, by the way, 35-0). And the messages go into pretty meticulous detail: “Watch who’s signaling plays in. Thumb up is to the right. Thumb down is to the left.”

Jeez, what is with you people? I thought college football coaches were bad, but you’re a bunch of crazed, petty weirdos! Someone go the distance and wrangle these together in a Wikileaks-esque clearinghouse of lame pass routes, why don’t you?

After the Huntsville-Elkins game, Elkins coach Bryan Hutson texted the number to say, “We won. The coaches said something about you talking to me. Said they had something. I didn’t know what they were talking about. They were pissed.” Per a KFSM-TV report, the messages were found backed up on an iPad owned by the Huntsville football program. On Tuesday morning, the Record reports, Barnhill was seen leaving campus escorted by school security and a Madison County sheriff’s deputy. The Huntsville School District superintendent later confirmed that Barnhill had resigned.

So far, the Record says, the district is handling the matter internally. That’s because unlike its Arizona counterpart, the Arkansas Activities Association doesn’t have a rule prohibiting this kind of thing, for the admittedly sensible reason of “Who would ever do that?” Per the Record:

Derek Walter with the Arkansas Activities Association said he had never heard of a situation in which someone employed by a teams’ school would give play calls and other secretive information to the opposing team.


You know, neither had I. Until last goddamn week!