Murphy promotes assistant, former LSU defensive tackle to head coach

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Murphy has named assistant coach and former LSU defensive tackle Muskingum Barnes as their next head football coach.

The move was approved by the Mobile County Board of Education on Wednesday. Barnes has served as an assistant coach under former Murphy head coach Rick Cauley for the past three years.

Barnes played in Baton Rouge from 1997 to 2001 under Gerry DiNardo and Nick Saban. He then decided to move on from playing after a brief stint pursuing the pros. His first coaching job was as an assistant for St. Paul’s, where he worked for six years and helped the Saints win a Class 5A state title in 2007. He then left coaching for a few years before joining Cauley’s staff in 2014.

Barnes will look to take the Panthers to the next level, as Murphy has made the playoffs in all but two seasons since 2000 but has only made one quarterfinal appearance in 2008 and won just two region titles in 2001 and 2008. In contrast, from 1976 to 1990 Murphy made the state championship game four times and won one title in 1983.