People never know when to start in describing Danny Barrett, the Miami Dolphins’ new running backs coach.
You may already have seen it mentioned that Danny was a head coach in the Canadian Football League with the Saskatchewan Rough Riders. That can only help Adam Gase, a first-time NFL head coach, in organizing his program and bouncing ideas around.
You may also have heard that Barrett was recently interim head coach at Central Florida, which may help in getting a solid read on potential Dolphins draft picks he faced in the American Athletic Conference.
Oh, and Danny also played quarterback at the University of Cincinnati and later professionally for six different CFL teams. He even held the record for a time up north by passing for 601 yards in a CFL game.
All of this is interesting and impressive, but I’ll always go back to the starting point when it’s time to talk about Danny.
Way back when I was new at the Palm Beach Post, covering high school sports and sometimes dictating my stories in over pay phones, Barrett was the senior quarterback for the Lake Worth High School Trojans.
Without him, the 1978 Trojans wouldn’t have gone 10-0 for the time in 18 years. Barrett, who lived in Boynton Beach, was the mature leader of a team that hadn’t won many games his first few seasons. The more he touched the ball, however, the more good things happened.
Danny played quarterback, and did it well enough to make The Post’s All-Area second team. Pahokee’s Ronnie Osborne, a future All-Big Eight pick at defensive back, was our first-team quarterback in 1978 so there’s no shame in that.
Also in that spectacular senior season of high school, Barrett kicked extra points for the Trojans. He punted, too, and when basketball season came around, he was a starting guard on a Lake Worth team that featured future NBA first-round draft pick Otis Thorpe. Led the hoops team in scoring quite a few times, as I remember.
The Trojans wound up losing their first playoff game to Deerfield Beach in 1978, but there were so many spectacular moments. The most amazing was an 80-yard touchdown pass from Barrett to Walter Duncan with four seconds left on the clock to beat a good Martin County team 28-21.
As for all-around dominance, how about Barrett’s performance in a 34-15 win over Boca Raton? He passed for 126 yards and a touchdown that night, rushed for 35 yards himself, kicked two extra points and ran for a two-point conversion.
Best of all, at least my view, Danny ended the night by giving a rookie sportswriter the kind of money quote you rarely hear in high school sports.
“We looked at them (Boca Raton) on film and we knew they didn’t have anything on defense,” Barrett said. “We knew we were going to score our points. The question was whether our defense would stop them, and it did.”
Maybe now that Barrett is coaching the Dolphins’ running backs, we can hope to get a little more of that out of Lamar Miller, one of the most careful quotes in the locker room.
Either way, it’s good to have him back here on the Post’s sports pages, where if feels like the two of us pretty much grew up.
The link below provides an image of an old story on Danny and the Trojans the night they completed their perfect season. It’s written by Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame member Dick Sanford, which is kind of cool because Barrett is a member of the same Hall of Fame, inducted in 2002.