New face in the High Country; football hires new offensive coordinator


Courtesy of App State Athletics

Kevin Barbay joins the Mountaineers coaching staff as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach following the departure of Frank Ponce.

Ethan Smith, Sports Editor

App State football hired its new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Monday to replace Frank Ponce’s position on head coach Shawn Clark’s staff.

Central Michigan university offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kevin Barbay will transition to the role with the Mountaineers.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a program that has such a storied tradition of winning,” Barbay said.

Barbay takes over for Ponce, who was hired as the University of Miami’s quarterbacks coach earlier this month. Ponce rejoined the Mountaineers’ coaching staff in January 2021 after a stint at Louisville where he served the same role. He served as co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2013-18 at App State.

“Kevin has directed prolific offenses as a coordinator and has quality experience coaching at multiple levels of college football,” Clark said. “He will help us continue our strong tradition on the offensive side of the ball and will be a big asset to the program as a leader and mentor.”

Barbay started coaching in 2003 and has held different positions throughout his career. He began at Monsignor Kelly High School in Beaumont, Texas, as a wide receivers coach. His first major position was as a graduate assistant at Baylor University. At Lamar University in Texas, he coached wide receivers and special teams. He also served as director of player development at Colorado State and the University of Florida. 

During his lone season as Central Michigan’s offensive coordinator, the Chippewas averaged 32.3 points per game and 445.4 yards per game. Under Barbay, Central Michigan boasted the country’s leading rusher with 1,848 yards last season. 

Barbay will inherit a dynamic backfield with All-Sun Belt performers Nate Noel and Cam Peoples who combined for 2,054 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. Quarterback Chase Brice will return for the 2022 campaign, giving Barbay a veteran at the position.

“With the quarterbacks and other players returning, there are great things in store for this offense,” Barbay said.