Chapmanville coach James Barker addresses his team following its 49-7 win over county rival Logan on Oct. 21, 2022. Barker announced his resignation as Tigers head coach on Thursday (File photo by Holly Eldridge/Holly Eldridge Photography).
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
CHAPMANVILLE Chapmanville High School football coach James Barker announced his resignation Thursday evening after three seasons on the sidelines in Tiger Country.
Barker served as Chapmanville’s football coach for the past three seasons and complied a record of 13-13.
Barker announced his intentions to resign as Chapmanville’s football coach Thursday evening on his Facebook page.
“I would like to thank the CRHS Administration and Logan County Schools for the opportunity to lead our student-athletes for the last three years as head coach, and for the last 15 years overall,” Barker wrote in a statement on Facebook. “I would like to thank the communities of Chapmanville and Harts for their support as well as countless individuals and businesses that have helped and supported as well.”
Baker took over the program in February of 2020 after Rob Dial resigned after just four seasons. He became the 13th head coach in Chapmanville High School history and the third generation of his family to become a head coach.
Barker’s dad, George was head coach from 2004-2015, while his grandfather Shag coached the Tigers for 15 seasons.
George Barker won 70 games at Chapmanville, led the Tigers to six playoff appearances, won the first ever playoff game in school history and led the Tigers to a Class AA state semifinal appearance in 2013 in his 12 seasons. Shag Barker won 44 games in three separate stints as head coach and led the Tigers to their first winning season in 1960 and their first back-to-back winning seasons in 1962 and 1963.
Under James Barker, Chapmanville saw steady improvement in his three seasons. The Tigers were 2-3 in 2020’s abbreviated COVID-19 season, improved to 4-6 in 2021 and was 7-4 in 2022 qualifying for the Class AA playoffs for the first time in seven seasons.
The Tigers had a number of milestones in Barker’s last season as head coach. The Tigers won at Wayne for the first time in 31 years, won their first Logan County championship since 2017 and earned a No. 10 ranking in the final Class AA playoff ratings.
Chapmanville was defeated by No. 7 Fairmont Senior in the opening round of the playoffs in what was Barker’s last game as Chapmanville head coach.
“I am stepping away to spend more time with my family and to be there for JJ, Reed and Riley as they get older and more involved in activities,” Barker said. “I could not be fair to the job as a head coach and to my family.”
“We will always support Chapmanville football and we will be their biggest fans this fall,” Barker said. “We will be around, and we will always support our Tigers.”