Barefield to step down as head football coach

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Barefield to step down as head football coach

October 31, 2011

Contact: Steve Valencia, Associate VP for University Relations, 580-327-8478
Andrew Carter, Director of Athletics, 580-327-8632


Keith BarefieldAfter leading the Northwestern Oklahoma State University football program for five seasons, Keith Barefield today announced his resignation as head football coach at the end of the season.

Northwestern’s final regular season game is Saturday at Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to be a part of the Northwestern Oklahoma State University family for the past five years,” Barefield said. “I am deeply grateful to Dr. Janet Cunningham for giving me the opportunity to be a Ranger and lead this football program.

“My life has been enriched by the relationships I have developed throughout the Ranger and Alva communities. I would like to especially thank my players and coaches who have given so much to me and this program. They are the ones who have made my time here so enjoyable.”

Barefield has guided the Rangers to a 34-19 record in his five seasons, which included a pair of Central State Football League titles and three NAIA playoff appearances. Northwestern is 4-5 this season.

He collected his 100th victory as a collegiate head coach last Saturday following a 62-39 victory over Southwestern Assemblies of God University, and has a career record of 100-52-2. Before coming to Northwestern, Barefield was the head coach for 10 seasons at Evangel University in Missouri.

“At this juncture in my career and with the transitions within the athletic program, I believe this is the best time for me to pursue other interests,” Barefield said. “I am also convinced that it is the best time for Northwestern to bring in new energy and leadership to make the best transition into NCAA. The timing is right for both of us.

“I wish the University and the athletic program the best in the future. I will always be a Ranger and all I have to say at this point is Ride, Rangers, Ride.”

Andrew Carter, director of athletics, credited Barefield for his work in returning the program to its winning ways.

“Coach Barefield did an excellent job of turning around the program upon his arrival, and his contributions to Northwestern and the football program are certainly recognized and appreciated,” Carter said.

Carter said Northwestern will immediately begin an expedited, but thorough, process for finding a new head coach.