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Wallace "Wink" Barnette

Inducted 2016

Wallace Barnette was inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016 after 32 extraordinary years as the executive director of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association, the longest tenure of any executive director in FACA history.

The Alexandria, Virginia, native grew FACA membership from 1,200 to more than 6,000 active members upon retirement. Barnette also helped organize the National Organization of Coaches Association Directors (NOCAD), where they secured a $1 million liability insurance coverage from FACA members. Working with six FHSAA executive directors during his tenure, he provided opportunities and improved the lives of thousands of high school coaches and tens of thousands of student-athletes.

Barnette is credited with putting an emphasis on coaching education in the state of Florida, using FACA clinics which were approved by the Florida Department of Education. As the idea of coaching certification took place, Wink made sure FACA clinics complied with the coaching endorsement program required by the state. As many as 4,000 coaches annually attendance such clinics.

In 1979, the 1968 graduate of Carson-Newman College convinced the FACA Board of Directors to let him organize and conduct all-star games in 12 different sports. Five years later, Wink worked with the Georgia Coaches Association to create the Florida-Georgia Football All-Star Classic. More than 500 student-athletes were recognized and participated yearly in FACA All-Star games.

Wink worked alongside Florida Magazine to develop the most comprehensive high school awards program in the country: the FACA-Florida Dairy Farmers “Athlete of the Year” and “Coach of the Year” programs.

In addition to growing the FACA exponentially, Barnette served on the following Board of Directors: Florida High School Athletic Association, Florida Special Olympics, Florida Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, National High School Athletic Coaches Association, National federation Interscholastic Coaches Association and the NOCAD.

Barnette is a member of the FACA Hall of Fame (2004) as well as the NHSACA Hall of Fame (2012). He has also received the FACA Meritorious Award, the FACA Life Membership Award, the NOCAD MVP Award and the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Honorary Life Membership Award.

Before becoming an administrator, Barnette was an assistant football coach on Brent Hall’s Ocala Forest football teams which won back-to-back 3A state championships in 1974-75. He was also a head golf coach at Forest where his teams went 92-5 with three district titles and a third-place finish in the state tournament.