Former Lady Bulldog to coach at Fayetteville
By Richard White
Greenwood native Jill Barrett, a 2010 GHS graduate, has been hired as a teacher and coach with the Fayetteville School District. She will assume her duties on July 1st.
A multi-sport athlete in high school, Barrett went on to softball stardom with the University of Tulsa, becoming the only player in school history to hit .400 twice.
The former Lady Bulldog then played professional softball with the Akron Racers in 2014-2015, and the Chicago Bandits in 2016. She also competed on the USA Women’s National Baseball Team from 2012-2014 and played in the Baseball World Cup in 2012 and 2013.
Barrett will become the head assistant coach for varsity softball and will also teach physical education at Fayetteville’s Washington Elementary School. She has a bachelor’s degree in exercise sports science and deaf education, and a master’s in education degree from the University of Tulsa.
“What a great opportunity to be able to coach at FHS and teach at one of the best elementary schools,” said Barrett. “I’ve always wanted to be a coach at a high school. Dreams do come true. I’m a teacher and a coach, and I’m so excited to start.
“I’m honored and thrilled to be part of the Fayetteville Athletic Department and the Lady Bulldogs softball team,” added the 25-year-old. “As a nationally ranked athletic program, Bulldog athletics are second to none.
“Hard work and determination have led me down many paths and helped me achieve my goals. After seven years of collegiate and professional softball, I’m thrilled to be living out my next dream."
In a recent telephone interview, Barrett also credited her upbringing in Greenwood for helping to make her successful in life. “I’m thankful for everything that Greenwood has given me,” she said. “It’s the best platform I could have asked for.”
Barrett also confirmed that even without the new coaching job, she was finished with professional softball. “I decided last year that it was going to be my [final season], and we happened to go out on top, so it was a pretty good way to end it.”
Playing for the Chicago Bandits, Barrett and her teammates won the 2016 Cowles Cup, awarded to the championship team of the national pro fast-pitch league. Barrett had two hits in the title game.
Barrett was hired just days after Sue Carpenter made the move from Lady Razorbacks’ assistant coach to accept the head job with the Lady Purple Dogs. The pair have crossed paths before.
“I’m thrilled to have Jill as my head assistant coach,” said Carpenter. “She will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program. While coaching at Arkansas, I knew Jill from competing against her when she was playing at Tulsa.
“She stood out because she was a great competitor and teammate, and she flat out loves the game. Her experience as a collegiate and pro athlete are the tangible qualities I know will be passed on to our athletes and will help this program flourish.”
“We are extremely excited to add Jill Barrett to our softball staff,” said Steve Janski, Fayetteville’s Director of Athletics. “The combination of Sue Carpenter’s vast college experience, coupled with the professional playing experience that Jill brings, will equal a truly one-of-a-kind experience for our softball players. I’m really happy to know Fayetteville girls will have this opportunity.”
Jill is the daughter of Kevin and Danielle Barrett of Greenwood and Michael and Mary Crouch of Fort Smith. She is also the sister of current GHS reserve quarterback Easton Barrett, who will be a senior this coming season.