Former Bulldogs QB enjoying time in The Swamp

Former Nederland quarterback Kevin Barbay has seen the ups and downs of football.
The downs are obvious in Barbay’s case. It was the two seasons spent at Warren High School as head coach. The Warriors went 0-20 in two seasons.
Then came the ups like being named receivers coach at Lamar University in 2012 and two years later being named director of player personnel at Colorado State.
Now after a 10-2 season with the Rams under coach Jim McElwain, Barbay calls SEC country home as an assistant director of player personnel for the Florida Gators. McElwain’s success led the Gators to name him head coach in late 2014.
“I have really been fortunate and it has been a wild ride,” Barbay said. “It was not long ago I was 25-years-old and really down at Warren. Sometimes I can’t believe I go to work each day in The Swamp. It is amazing and surreal.”
Barbay’s job centers around the ever-changing world of college recruiting. It is a duty based on finding the right high school athletes and then getting inside the player’s world and staying there if he is the right fit for a team’s program.
The job really becomes tough in a conference like the SEC.
“You have to find the right kids and get them early,” Barbay said. “It can be a tricky game and is a never-ending process.”
Lamar and Colorado St. are both respectful programs but nothing right now in college football compares to the SEC.
“It is a daily grind,” Barbay said. “Day 1 you come to realize you are in a different place than you have ever been. The level of player you are looking at is different. Here, you have a shot at everybody. If you don’t stay on a player then Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia or LSU will get him. And, that is just naming a few teams. It is really weird to think of that way. You don’t want to get left behind.”
Even being over 760 miles away from home, Barbay has a way to stay in touch with things happening in Southeast Texas.
“Before I get going I read the Port Arthur News,” Barbay said. “Every morning that happens. Southeast Texas is home and I think of this as a hiatus being away. Reading The News is my routine.”
Keeping up with the affairs of the Nederland Bulldogs means Barbay is one of the perfect candidates to give a very early prediction to a certain football game known as Mid County Madness.
“Coach (Brandon) Faircloth is a great friend of mine,” Barbay, who played under Nederland coach Larry Neumann, said. “I have learned a lot about football from him. He knows what my prediction will be this year and what it will always be.”
Barbay is still close to the Nederland coaching staff. He had some very welcomed visitors for the Gators spring game this year.
Neumann, defensive coordinator Delbert Spell and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Monte Barrow traveled to Gainesville to see Barbay at work.

Columns

HEALTHY LIVING — What to be concerned with that lingering cough

Local

Port Neches homes set for demolition after numerous violations, safety concerns

Local

Russell Buss hits milestone with special blood donation

Local

Carjacking Task Force targeting violent crime in Southeast Texas

Local

Port Arthur students excel at Top Teens of America event

Local

PHOTO FEATURE — Memorial sophomore excels in prose interpretation

Local

RELIGION BRIEF — God 1st Missionary Baptist celebrating pastor’s anniversary

Local

PHOTO FEATURE — Criticism Team comes up extra positive

Local

PHOTO FEATURE — Taking in the Symphony

Local

Dr. Avila Arcala left mark on Port Arthur and beyond; service planned Saturday

Local

Port Arthur ISD support center renovation full go; district leaders outline plans and timeline

Local

U.S. Navy for Port Arthur’s Hyleta Floyd is about service and family

Local

FIT BODY BOOT CAMP PUMPS UP VOLUME — Fitness goals via a welcoming environment is the mission

Local

Jury sentences Port Arthur man week after he was found guilty in Beaumont killing

Local

Port Arthur Police say arrests coming following shooting of 16-year-old local girl

Local

National Weather Service outlines heavy rain concern for Southeast Texas

Local

Willie Mae Elmore, former Port Arthur ISD trustee, nurse educator, dies at 74

High School Sports

Port Neches-Groves’ Morgan Campbell setting school record pace en route to regionals

Local

Troop Industrial earns special Veteran-owned small business certification

Local

Port Arthur and Beaumont Rotary Clubs, 100 Black Men of Greater Beaumont gathering for Sleep in Heavenly Peace impact

Local

Authorities identify 21-year-old Nederland man killed in ATV crash

Groves

Stolen vehicle chase into Port Arthur and Groves leads to continued suspects search

Local

FAMILY TRADITION — Darlean’s Market and Café earns success, recognition

Local

Local man says he was poisoned when he threatened 2 people with hatchet