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Marshall football coach resigns

By Daniel Paulling dpaulling@paducahsun.com

Ron Barnard promised three things after being hired as head football coach at Marshall County: Academics would be a focus, he'd develop the character of his players, and the team would win championships.

After going 16-28 over four seasons, Barnard resigned Friday afternoon.

"I didn't do a good job on the third one," he said. "It's time they get someone in here to take them to the next level. To hold myself accountable, it's the right thing for me to do."

Barnard added that his resignation had nothing to do with his wreck Jan. 24. He hit a tree while driving west on U.S. 68, according to a news release from the Marshall County Sheriff's Department, and was taken to a hospital in Evansville, Ind. He was released two days later.

"My health is not an issue," he said. "I'm not being forced to leave."

Marshall County will start its search for a new coach immediately, athletic director Jeff Stokes said. He praised Barnard's work ethic in trying to build a program that went 13-20 over the three years before Barnard arrived.

"I don't think anyone can fault the effort he put into the program," Stokes said.

Barnard spoke to former players Friday afternoon and described them as surprised by his decision. He's not sure whether he'll coach again but said he enjoyed the work.

"Toughest thing I've ever done," Barnard said. "To tell (the players) what I'm doing is to give them a better chance to succeed. You have to admit your own failure. That's tough for me to do."

Call Daniel Paulling, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8662, or follow on Twitter @DanielPaulling.

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