Michael Barton expected to have big impact on Wolf Pack special teams, outside linebackers

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 12:44 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Michael Barton moved to town less than two months ago.

“There are always going to be good players at Nevada, and especially in the Mountain West. I’m excited to get back in this conference and go against some really good teams,” he said.

After joining the Wolf Pack staff in March Barton has needed to get up to speed quicker than most.

“My expertise of special teams and outside linebackers...put those two together. It was a great opportunity. The timing just happened to be in my favor,” he said of the hiring process.

Barton replaces Joe Bolden, who left for Tulsa. Barton will be responsible for two of the more successful phases of Nevada’s gameplan. His coaching experience started at Fresno State, but Wolf Pack Head Coach Ken Wilson actually became familiar with Barton in the PAC-12 when Barton competed for Cal-Berkeley and Wilson was on Washington State’s staff.

“I couldn’t get one coach to say anything that would make me not consider hiring him,” Wilson said of the high praise Barton got. “Everyone was saying he’s a steal, take him. Get him over there.”

Playing linebacker in college and accepting Cal’s special teams coordinator role full-time last season gives Barton the qualifications to help the silver and blue.

“Playing smart, playing fast and finishing every rep. That’s the foundation of what my special teams will be,” Barton described. “Playing fast and physical and playing with toughness, that will be the foundation of the outside linebackers.”

After Nevada’s spring game over the weekend, Barton will have some time to craft schemes to help the Wolf Pack win come September.