George Barlow enters his second year as Vanderbilt's defensive backs coach and defensive recruiting coordinator. He joined James Franklin's staff after serving as interim head coach and defensive coordinator at the University of New Mexico.
Barlow is one of three highly
respected former FCS defensive
coordinators on the staff. The unit
is directed by Bob Shoop, former
coordinator at William & Mary.
Brent Pry, formerly at Georgia
Southern, serves as assistant
head coach, co-coordinator and
The team's defensive secondary was a strength during the 2013 season with four seniors - Andre Hal, Javon Marshall, Kenny Ladler and Steven Clarke - starting 10 of the Commodores' 12 games as a unit. The entire unit combined to intercept 12 of the team's 16 passes this season led by Kenny Ladler's five.
First-year starter Steven Clarke was steady at cornerback opposite Andre Hal. Under Barlow's guidance, Clarke started all 12 games of his final campaign in Black & Gold and registered 40 tackles, four pass break-ups and one interception.
Barlow also mentored young defensive backs Paris Head, Torren McGaster and Darrius Sims. Head earned the first two starts of his career during the 2013 season and was named co-Freshman of the Week for his two interception performance at Tennessee. McGaster earned his first starting assignment at Texas A&M.
In his first season at
Vanderbilt, Barlow mentored the
team's defensive backs into one
of the SEC's most productive
units. The corps was an important
ingredient of a defense that
ranked third in the SEC and 14th
in the NCAA in pass defense.
Barlow also did a superb job
developing first-year starting cornerback Andre Hal. The junior was named
second team All-SEC after posting 16 passes defended as a shutdown cover
opposite Trey Wilson, who inked a NFL free agent deal with Jacksonville
after the season.
Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Barlow served three years at New Mexico after
successfully mentoring defenses at James Madison University, one of the
top teams in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
Barlow began the 2011 season as UNM's assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. Four games into the season, Barlow was named the team's interim head coach after Mike Locksley was relieved.
Barlow's 2011 New Mexico defense was led by middle linebacker Carmen Messina. The senior was a first-team All-Mountain West Conference recipient after topping the league in tackles for a third straight year. He also broke the WAC career record with 454 tackles, including a career-high 21 stops in the 2011 finale at Boise State.
Barlow joined New Mexico after a highly successful decade of coaching at James Madison. Barlow experienced tremendous success at JMU, helping guide the Dukes to the 2004 NCAA I-AA national championship and FCS postseason appearances in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Barlow's JMU was consistently among the nation's best. In 2006, the Dukes were second nationally in sacks and fourth in rush defense (84.8 ypg). In 2005, the unit ranked first nationally in rush defense. In JMU's championship season of 2004, the Dukes set a FCS record for sacks and ranked second in the nation in rush defense.
Barlow coached several JMU defensive standouts, including linebacker Akeem Jordan, the AFCA NCAA I-AA Player of the Year in 2006.
Serving as JMU's running backs coach in 1999 prior moving to the defensive staff, Barlow tutored Curtis Keaton to team records with 1,719 rushing yards and 20 rushing TDs. Keaton was later selected in the fourth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. The following year, Barlow coached JMU's Delvin Joyce when he became the first Division I-AA player to reach the 1,000-yard career mark in rushing, receiving, punt returns and kickoff returns.
Prior to James Madison, Barlow spent three years at Oklahoma, coaching outside linebackers and strong safeties in 1998 after serving as a defensive graduate assistant in 1996-97.
Barlow was the defensive coordinator at West Virginia State in 1995 and defensive line coach at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College in 1994. He started his coaching career as a defensive assistant at Marshall.
In college, Barlow was an all-conference safety at Marshall from
1986-90. He was a member of the 1987 Thundering Herd squad that played in the NCAA I-AA national title game.
Barlow graduated in 1990 with a degree in business administration concentrating in finance and business law.
Barlow has a daughter, Kierstin Paige.
The Barlow File Personal
Birthplace: Chicago, Ill.
Alma Mater: Marshall, 1990
Playing Experience: Marshall (Safety, 1986-90)
2012-current - Vanderbilt (defensive recruiting coordinator/defensive backs)
2011 - New Mexico (interim head coach/assistant head coach/defensive coordinator)
2009-10 - New Mexico (assistant head coach/defensive backs)
2004-08 - James Madison (assistant head coach/defensive coordinator/safeties)
2002-03 - James Madison (defensive line)
1999-2001 - James Madison (running backs)
1998 - Oklahoma (outside LBs/safeties)
1996-97 - Oklahoma (graduate assistant)
1995 - West Virginia State (defensive coordinator)
1994 - Hutchinson (Kan.) CC (defensive line)
1992-93 - Marshall (linebackers)
1991 - Marshall (graduate assistant)