Former Bobcat QB Barrick Nealy accepts job at UTEP


Texas State Alumni

Barrick Nealy always knew his break into the collegiate coaching ranks would happen.

The former Texas State quarterback, who guided the Bobcats to a Southland conference championship in 2005, felt the opportunity would come from one of three coaches: current Texas head coach Tom Herman, former Rice head coach David Bailiff, or new UTEP head coach Dana Dimel.

It came as no surprise when Dimel, who was named UTEP’s new head coach on Dec. 6, offered Nealy the position of Director of Player Development. 

“It just kind of worked out that coach Dimel is kind of getting me into the business,” Nealy said. “He was my first collegiate coach. So, I was pretty excited about the opportunity to reconnect with him. You know, he was a guy that sat in my living room and sold the University of Houston program to my family and I. He was the one my mother trusted. So, we go way back. 

“I’m just excited. Not just for myself but for him getting another opportunity to be the head of a program. We have a lot of rebuilding to do but I couldn’t imagine doing it with a better coach. He’s a good man.”

After a stint in the NFL and the Canadian Football League, Nealy returned to San Marcos to coach with San Marcos Academy in 2011. During his time back, he earned his bachelor’s degree in May, and has also helped mentor and train athletes.

Nealy worked with former San Marcos High School quarterback and current University of Texas shortstop David Hamilton. He also helped San Marcos senior quarterback Prudencio Calderon, who led the 2017 Rattlers to their first district title since 2003 and is committed to play football at Yale University. Nealy always joked that once Hamilton and Calderon moved on from San Marcos that he would also leave. 

“The funny thing is, it’s Prudencio’s last year - He’s moving on - and we’re moving on together,” Nealy said. “So, that’s kind of cool looking at it in that sight.”

Nealy begins his new position with the Miners at the beginning of 2018. He’ll be responsible for managing the team’s day-to-day operations. He’ll work in recruiting, and he will also be involved with the football side of coaching as well. 

“The one thing that coach Dimel expressed to me was he knows I know the game and I’m passionate about working with young people,” Nealy said. “It’s just the matter of getting into a program and getting some experience. So, he’s going to allow me to do multiple things across the board in terms of assisting with the on-the-field development as well as off-the-field development. Like I said, I couldn’t have found a better opportunity to do that.”

Nealy doesn’t know where his future in coaching may lead him, and he’s okay with that. The 34-year-old has learned to take things year by year. But Nealy does know that he’s glad he has a chance to keep working with younger players. 

“I’m all about mentoring the future generations and sharing my experiences of playing at the highest level,” Nealy said. “You know, just teaching young people trying to help them to avoid some of the pitfalls I fell into and came out of. I’ve always been a mentor. So, in regards to the player development position, it’s just something that kind of comes natural. So, more so than anything, I’m just excited that I’m still going to be in a position where it’s not just about football but it really incorporates those life principles into the players in day-to-day activities. More so than anything, I’m excited about that part of it.”

Things have been moving quickly since he accepted his new position with UTEP. He hasn’t had an opportunity to learn his new University’s history. But Nealy is excited to get started with the Miners. 

“I’m kind of still learning about the University and I know that’s going to take some time,” Nealy said. “I know there’s a lot of potential and a lot of upside. From what I hear, it’s a great community. They love Miner football, so I’m looking forward to getting out there and hitting the ground running.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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