George Barlow, Josh Gattis Added to Vanderbilt Football Staff
Tenn. – George Barlow, a veteran defensive coordinator who served much
of last year as an interim head coach in the Mountain West Conference,
and Josh Gattis, who mentored the nation's most productive receiver in
2011, have joined the Vanderbilt coaching staff, James Franklin
Barlow, defensive coordinator at the University
of New Mexico for the last three years and interim head coach for the
final eight games of the 2011 campaign, will coach Vanderbilt defensive
backs and serve as the defensive recruiting coordinator. Gattis, who
helped guide Western Michigan to its fifth bowl game as a receivers
coach last year, will coach Commodore wide receivers and handle
offensive recruiting coordinator duties.
off an AutoZone Liberty Bowl appearance in his first year as the
Vanderbilt head coach, praised Barlow and Gattis as the newest
"George and Josh are very intelligent guys
who bring tremendous energy to our program," Franklin said. "They also
share our vision of where we believe Vanderbilt football is headed in
"George has a proven record as a defensive coach
and handled a difficult transition last year with a lot of class in the
role of interim head coach. Josh is considered one of the brightest
young coaches in the nation and did a remarkable job coaching the
receivers at Western Michigan," Franklin added.
Franklin also announced that Sam Williams will work in a quality control role with the Commodore defense.
his time at New Mexico, Barlow was a successful defensive coordinator
at James Madison (Va.) University. He becomes the third respected
coordinator with successful experience at the NCAA Football
Championship Subdivision (FCS) level on the current Vanderbilt
defensive staff. He joins current coordinator Bob Shoop, who served in
the role at William & Mary, and Brent Pry, the former coordinator
at Georgia Southern who coaches Commodore linebackers as
Barlow began last year as UNM’s assistant head
coach and defensive coordinator. Four games into the season, Lobo
officials named Barlow as the team’s interim head coach.
2011 Lobo defense was paced by middle linebacker Carmen Messina. The
senior earned first-team All-Mountain West Conference honors after
topping the league in tackles for a third straight year. He also broke
the conference career record with 454 tackles, including a career-high
21 stops in the 2011 finale at Boise State.
Before going to
New Mexico, Barlow enjoyed tremendous success during a 10-year stint at
James Madison. In 2004, he helped the Dukes to the 2004 I-AA national
championship as a first-year defensive coordinator. The Dukes also
advanced to the national playoffs from 2006, 2007 and 2008.
JMU defense ranked among the nation's best. In 2006, the Dukes were
second in FCS in sacks and fourth in rush defense. 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 has also worked at the University of Oklahoma, Marshall University and West Virginia State.
served as receivers coach at Western Michigan in 2011, helping the 7-6
Broncos to an appearance in the Little Caesars Bowl.
pupil at Western Michigan, wide receiver Jordan White, rewrote team and
Mid-American Conference (MAC) records en route to consensus All-America
honors. As a senior in 2011, White topped the nation with 140
receptions and 1,911 receiving yards. His 17 touchdown catches was the
third most in the NCAA.
White owns virtually every
Western Michigan receiving record, finishing his career with 306
catches and 4,187 receiving yards. In his final game, White setting a
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl record with 265 receiving yards. He earned
All-America recognition from the Associated Press, Walter Camp Football
Foundation, American Football Coaches Association, Yahoo! Sports and
Two other Bronco wide receivers, Chleb
Ravenell and Robert Arnheim, also produced career campaigns under
Gattis’ guidance. Ravenell had 67 receptions and nine touchdown
catches. Arnheim finished the year with 62 receptions.
joined Western Michigan after serving as a graduate assistant in 2010
at the University of North Carolina. Former Tar Heel offensive
coordinator John Shoop, brother of current Vanderbilt defensive
coordinator Bob Shoop, was one of the coaches Gattis assisted in Chapel
Gattis was a standout at Wake Forest. He earned
All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors as a Demon Deacon safety in 2005
and 2006. Gattis finished his career with 32 starts, 253 total tackles,
six forced fumbles and 12 interceptions. A participant in the 2007
Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game, Gattis spent time with the
Jacksonville and Chicago organizations after getting drafted in the
fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
Williams spent three years as an offensive coach at his alma mater, Shepard (W.Va.) University.