Dan Barnson started teaching in 1992 with the goal of becoming a head varsity football coach, and in 2007 he became just that at Arbor View.
“I always envisioned kind of what happened,” he said. “It’s what I wanted, and I was going to work to make it happen.”
Winning clearly was part of his vision, too.
Barnson stepped down at the school’s’ football banquet Friday night after 12 seasons in which he compiled a 104-33 record, six Northwest League championships and five consecutive region championship game appearances. He guided the Aggies this fall to a program-record 12 wins and a victory over Faith Lutheran to secure the first region championship in school history.
Arbor View has not yet announced a successor, but whoever takes over for Barnson will be following one of the most successful coaches in Las Vegas Valley history.
“He put so much hard work and effort into the program and into coaching us,” senior running back Kyle Graham said. “We wanted to pay him back, give him the same amount of love and energy that he gave to us on the team.”
Barnson spent the first 15 years of his coaching career as an assistant. Arbor View opened in 2005 and was 2-17 its first two seasons. The Aggies were 2-8 during Barnson’s first year in 2007, and have since finished every season with at least six victories — including a 90-17 over mark the last nine seasons.
Under Barnson, the Aggies became known for their run-heavy, double-wing offense and rushed for more than 3,000 yards in at least seven straight seasons.
Archaic for some.
Efficient for Barnson.
“The consistency of our program, to go nine straight years averaging 10 wins, that’s something I’m really, really proud of,” he said. “And sticking to our guns. I love the double wing. I absolutely love it … It’s an offense that a lot of people might laugh off. They look and shake their head because of the old school stuff, but it’s so sophisticated. It really is a lot more in-depth than people give it credit (for) and it’s put a lot of kids in college.”
Barnson said he relished the entire game-day experience and will miss Friday nights with his players and coaches.
“He pushed us to be the best, the best of our ability,” Graham said. “He really just gave us all the time and the energy he could. Him being there, it changed the whole football program. He (helped) everyone to be a champion. To be a winner.”
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