John Barnhill (American football)

John Barnhill

Barnhill from The 1942 Volunteer
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1903-02-23)February 23, 1903
Savannah, Tennessee
Died October 21, 1973(1973-10-21) (aged 70)
Playing career
1925–1927 Tennessee
Position(s) Guard
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1931–1934 Tennessee (freshmen)
1935–1940 Tennessee (line)
1941–1945 Tennessee
1946–1949 Arkansas
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1941–1945 Tennessee
1946–1971 Arkansas
Head coaching record
Overall 54–22–5
Bowls 2–1–1
Accomplishments and honors
1 SWC (1946)
2x All-Southern (1926, 1927)
SEC Coach of the Year (1944)

John Henry "Barnie" Barnhill (February 23, 1903 – October 21, 1973) was an American football player and coach and college athletics administrator. He served as the head coach at the University of Tennessee (1941–1945) and the University of Arkansas (1946–1949), compiling a record of 54–22–5.

Coaching and administrative career

Barnhill was the head coach for the University of Tennessee for four seasons from 1941 to 1945. He coached the team during World War II, managing the squad during the absence of General Robert Neyland who left for the War. During this period he led Tennessee to a record of 32–5–2.

In 1946, after Neyland's return to Tennessee, Barnhill was hired by the University of Arkansas as both head football coach and athletic director. Barnhill gave up the head coaching position in 1949 after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He continued as athletic director at Arkansas until 1971 and was responsible for hiring legendary head coach Frank Broyles who ultimately replaced Barnhill as athletic director.


Barnhill Arena, the former men's basketball and current women's athletic facility at the University of Arkansas, was named for him. Barnhill is a member of both the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs AP#
Tennessee Volunteers (Southeastern Conference) (1941–1945)
1941 Tennessee 8–2 3–1 2nd 18
1942 Tennessee 9–1–1 4–1 T–2nd W Sugar 7
1943 No team—World War II
1944 Tennessee 7–1–1 5–0–1 2nd L Rose 12
1945 Tennessee 8–1 3–1 2nd 14
Tennessee: 32–5–2 15–3–1
Arkansas Razorbacks (Southwest Conference) (1946–1949)
1946 Arkansas 6–3–2 5–1 T–1st T Cotton 16
1947 Arkansas 6–4–1 1–4–1 T–5th W Dixie
1948 Arkansas 5–5 2–4 5th
1949 Arkansas 5–5 2–4 6th
Arkansas: 22–17–3 10–13–1
Total: 54–22–5
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final AP Poll.


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