January 10, 2019

Matt Barnes Named Special Team’s Coord./Asst. Secondary Coach


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Matt Barnes, who spent the last three seasons coaching at the University of Maryland, has been named today as Ohio State’s special team’s coordinator and assistant secondary coach by head coach Ryan Day. Barnes brings 10 years of coaching experience with him to his new role with the Buckeyes.

This past season, he served as linebacker coach and specials team’s coordinator at Maryland. Under his guidance, the Terrapins ranked 18th nationally and third in the Big Ten with a 23.9 yard average on kickoff returns. Maryland had two players – Ty Johnson and Tavion Jacobs – who averaged better than 25 yards per kick return and ranked in the top five in the conference in yards per return. Johnson and Jacobs also returned kicks of 97 and 98 yards, respectively, for touchdowns during the 2018 season. Additionally, Maryland tied for 11th nationally in blocked punts (two) and was 39th in net punting (38.8 yards).

“Matt is young coach who has really done a great job at Maryland,” Day said. “He’s an energy guy who has considerable knowledge of the Big Ten Conference plus experience coaching in the Southeastern Conference. He’s going to work well with our staff and I’m pleased to have him on board.”

During his three-year stay in College Park, Barnes mentored second-team All-American and first-team all-Big Ten linebacker Tre Watson this year and another pair of Terp linebackers who garnered All-Big Ten recognition: Jermaine Carter and Shane Cockerille. Carter went on to be a fifth-round draft choice of the Carolina Panthers while Cockerille signed as a free agent with the New York Jets.

Barnes arrived at Maryland after spending the 2015 season at Michigan as a defensive analyst. During his one season in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines ranked first nationally in defensive pass efficiency, third in passing yards allowed, fourth in total defense and 11th in scoring defense.

From 2012 to 2014, Barnes was a defensive and special team’s graduate assistant at Florida. Over his three-year stay, the Gators’ special teams was eighth nationally in punt return average and No. 24 in kick return average (22.6 yards/kick). Florida was also No. 11 in net punting average (43.2 yards). On defense, the Gators ranked 15th nationally in total defense and 10th in defensive pass efficiency during the 2014 season. In two of his three seasons, Florida boasted a top 15-ranked scoring defense.

Barnes spent the 2011 season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at West Virginia Wesleyan College, where he helped coach Adam Neugebauer to Division II Quarterback of the Year honors and a fifth-place finish in the Harlon Hill voting, which goes to the top player in Division II. Barnes’ offense led the conference in total offense, passing offense, passing efficiency and first downs.

Barnes began his coaching career in 2009 as the running backs coach at Delaware Valley College, before moving on to West Virginia Wesleyan in 2010 as running backs coach.

Barnes is a 2008 graduate of Salisbury University on Maryland’s eastern shore, where he was elected as team captain by teammates and was a candidate for the academic Draddy Award. His degree is in business.

Matt’s wife’s name is Christina.


2019Special Team’s Coordinator/Assistant Secondary Ohio State
2018Special Team’s Coordinator/LinebackersMaryland
2016-17Special Team’s CoordinatorMaryland
2015Defensive AnalystMichigan
2012-14Defensive/Special Team’s Graduate AssistantFlorida
2011Offensive Coordinator/QuarterbacksWest Virginia Wesleyan
2010Running BacksWest Virginia Wesleyan
2009Running BacksDelaware Valley