Longtime OJR coach Barr out after 18 seasons

Longtime Owen J. Roberts football head coach Tom Barr is out after 18 seasons at the helm, the coach confirmed in a phone call on Tuesday night.

Barr compiled a 110-103 mark during his tenure, capped off by a 3-9 overall finish this past season.

“It hurt me a lot knowing that I won’t be the head coach next year,’ Barr said. I’ve been red and white since I was eight years old. I started with the NorCo Red Knights, then played middle school and high school football at OJR. The only time I wasn’t playing in red and white was at Penn State under Joe Paterno.

“I came back and started coaching at OJR, been there for 31 seasons,’ he continued. “So pretty much that was my home and my love. I’ll miss running on the football field at OJR, being on the sidelines, coaching on the sidelines.’

The Owen J. Roberts athletic office declined comment in an email to The Mercury.

Barr’s tenure was highlighted by a PAC-10 co-championship in 2010 along with a District 1-AAAA berth that capped off a stretch of three seasons (2008-2010) that the Wildcats finished with nine or more wins.

In total, Barr, a reserve running back on Penn State’s 1982 championship team, finished with 11 seasons with six or more wins, while four of his seven losing seasons came as of late as the Wildcats compiled an 1-11 record in 2011 before finishing 3-9 the past three seasons.

“Every season, you take something away from it. It makes you a better coach, you reflect on the year you had. Everything just seemed to jell that year (2010) for us,’ Barr said. “You can always look for improvements each year. After the Pottstown game on Thanksgiving, I already typed up my 2015 action plan for areas where we can improve.’

Barr will stay on as a track and field assistant coach where he has worked with the throwers for all 11 seasons that Eric Wentzel has been the head coach.

Barr also plans to continue coaching football in some capacity.

“I’m not done coaching. I love the football game, I love coaching, I love the competition. Most of all, I love working with the players and developing the players.’

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