Some of the greats never do it. Marino, Barkley, Sanders, Stockton, and Malone never got that elusive championship. Other greats like Bird, Gretzky, Jordan, get it done and then there are those like Elway and Manning who get it done and ride off in the sunshine, while at the top of their game.
That's exactly how Mike Barnett of Luling is going out....on top. Coach Barnett has retired and he is doing it after winning the 2016 UIL 3A cross country title and then calling it quits. Barnett didn't just win his first title though. He is exiting now that Luling has won its UIL record seventh consecutive state championship.
Coach Barnett not only taught and coached at Luling for 31 years, but he also graduated from Luling High School.
"I am very content with my career and my decision." Barnett has plenty of reasons to be content. His list of accomplishments range from coaching several team and individual state champions, state and national record holders, to All-Americans, and the list goes on!
Coach Barnett didn't just coach the boys and girls at Luling, he raised good young men and women. He motivated a team and a town. He raised a family of Luling citizens to go back and care for and teach the ones who come behind them, he created a culture known as Luling, USA.
It's never easy to see the good ones go especially, when it seems they are on top and still in their prime. But, maybe it's fair to let someone else have an opportunity at success. It's been fun watching his teams run, watching him coach, and represent what is right about running and being an American.