Danny Barrett loves pressure. In his 12-year career as a CFL quarterback, he wore the intensity of the game as lightly as he wore his shoulder pads. When the time came to transition out of playing and onto the sidelines as an assistant coach he moved smoothly and easily into leadership. But now he's making the hefty leap into the role of head coach and still the pressure doesn't faze him.
Early in 2000, the Saskatchewan Roughriders announced that Danny would be the head coach for the prairie team. With this announcement Barrett became the youngest head coach in league history and the second black CFL head coach ever.
But Danny is not really interested in the novelty of his appointment. He's more interested in being a great coach. "I bring honesty and integrity in to my job," says Danny. "I'm going to be upfront with these guys and get them going in the right direction."
There's a reason behind Danny's focus. He is making an effort to keep God at the front of his life. "I am who I am: a man of God. That's what I'm going to stand up and say about myself," he says.
His commitment to Christ, which he made as a young kid back in Florida, drives him, and Danny finds himself leaning heavily on the support that God provides. "I start every day by reading the Bible and asking God for direction," he says. "Then I end every day by just saying thank you.' That's where I get my focus from, and how I keep my priorities straight."
These days Danny has a lot to keep straight. The pressure to win. Dealing with the media on a daily basis. Pulling together a team. Dealing with the new responsibilities of head coach. Not to mention his commitment to his wife Alison and four young children. That's pressure.
Yet Danny is quick to give credit to the one who shoulders the weight. Jesus is the center of my life and my family. That makes a big difference in dealing with stress," he adds. "We've decided to step out in faith and God will lead and guide us."
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