Cincinnati native Harlon Barnett will coach the Michigan State Spartans' secondary as Travares Tillman takes over as cornerbacks coach, the school announced Thursday.
The move fills a vacancy created by the departure of Mike Tressel, who was named the Cincinnati Bearcats' defensive coordinator earlier this week.
Barnett, 54, returned to MSU in Feb. 2020 as defensive backs coach after two seasons as the Florida State Seminoles' defensive coordinator.
Barnett is a former Princeton High School standout and coach who played seven NFL seasons, coached defensive backs at UC from 2004 to 2006 and coached defensive backs at MSU from 2007 to 2014 before becoming the Spartans' co-defensive coordinator from 2015 to 2017.
Cincinnati Bengals defensive back Darqueze Dennard and Josiah Scott, a former Fairfield High School standout who also played defensive back at MSU before entering the 2020 NFL Draft, were among former Spartan players endorsing Barnett for the head coaching job before MSU hired Mel Tucker earlier this month from Colorado.
As the Spartans' co-defensive coordinator (with Tressel) and DBs coach, Barnett helped Michigan State to a 10-3 record in 2017 under former Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio.
LOVE SPORTS? [ Subscribe now for unlimited access to Cincinnati.com ]