Greensboro, N.C. (8/27/07) -- Guilford College athletic director Marion Kirby filled out the Quakers' football coaching staff with the addition of assistant coaches Mike Harris '07, Eric Massey, and Joe Mitskas. Also Monday, defensive coordinator Michael Vite was promoted to assistant head coach and Chris Barnette '08 and Josh Sutton '07 joined the football staff as student assistants.
After four seasons as a Quakers' student assistant, Harris will coach Guilford's linebackers and serve as the team's video coordinator in his first professional coaching experience. Harris played for the Quakers as a reserve defensive back in 2001 before moving the sidelines. He earned his bachelor of science degrees from Guilford in criminal justice and computing and information technology. The former resident of Glen Arm, Md., twice lettered for coach Mark Lehman's Loch Raven High School team and received the squad's sportsmanship and academic awards. He also lettered with the track and field team as a thrower for Loch Raven's 2003 1-A state championship team.
Massey makes his college coaching debut assisting the Quakers' defensive linemen. In 2004, the former Spiro, Okla., resident played under Vite at Bacone (Okla.) College. Massey started two seasons at linebacker and earned four varsity letters. The Warriors went 7-3 in 2004 and ranked 24th in the final NAIA ratings. Massey earned a Central States Football League Defensive Player of the Week Award in 2004 and placed fourth among the loop's interceptions leaders. He helped Bacone rank among the 2004 NAIA national leaders in rushing defense (9th) and total defense (30th). Massey compiled 71 tackles and three sacks in his final two college season.
Massey earned his bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Bacone in 2006. He attended and played football for Spiro High School. Eric's brother, Chris, was a standout defensive back who led NCAA Division I in kickoff return yardage for Oklahoma State University in 2001.
Like Massey, Mitskas rejoins a college coach in his first year at Guilford and will also work with the defensive linemen. Mitskas played for Guilford mentor Kevin Kiesel at Millersville University from 2001-03 and earned First Team All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honors as a senior. The three-year starting nose guard had 62 tackles in his final two seasons, 13 for loss.
Mitskas began his coaching career as a Millersville student assistant in the spring of 2004. He coached the defensive line and junior varsity team at William Penn (Pa.) High School in the fall of that year and served as Albright College's defensive line coach in 2005. The Feasterville, Pa., native spent the 2006 season at Muhlenberg College and helped the Mules field NCAA Division III's 36th-ranked defense. He has worked the Jerry Sandusky Football Camp in Pennsylvania in each of the past three years.
A 2000 graduate of Neshaminy (Pa.) High School, Mitskas earned First Team All-Suburban One League honors under coach Mark Schmidt.
Vite enters his second year as the Quakers' defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. His 2006 unit featured 13 first- or second-year students among 18 regular defenders. Despite the inexperience, Vite's defense reduced its points and yards allowed per game by nearly 20 percent from 2005. Defensive lineman Mike Six '09 earned 2006 honorable mention Football Gazette All-America and Second Team All-ODAC recognition. Safety Bryan Cook '08 was a 2006 honorable mention All-ODAC pick under Vite's direction.
A 26-year coaching veteran, Vite earned his bachelor's degree in health and physical education from Hillsdale College in 1981. The Elkhart, Ind., native won three football letters as a running back and played on the Chargers' 1980 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference champions.
One of Guilford's greatest receivers, Barnette joins the Quakers' coaching staff while completing requirements for his bachelor's degree in sport management. He exhausted his athletic eligibility in 2006 after a second straight All-America season. Barnette led Guilford's pass-catchers in each of his four years and is the school's fourth two-time football All-American. He caught 195 of his school-record 266 passes in his last two years and finished with 2,953 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns in 38 games. Guilford's 2005-06 Best Male Athlete, he led NCAA Division III with a league-record 101 receptions for 1,369 yards and 15 scores in 2005.
Barnette ranked among the ODAC all-time receptions leaders, fifth in career receiving yards and fourth in career touchdown receptions. His 266 catches placed 12th in NCAA Division III history in games through the 2005 season.
A Semora, N.C., native, Barnette was an all-conference receiver and quarterback at Person High School for coach Mark Lunsford. His brother, Jamie, quarterbacked North Carolina State University from 1994-99.
While finishing his degree in sports medicine, Sutton starts his coaching outside linebackers. The four-year letterwinning defender exhausted his eligibility in 2006 after finishing sixth on the team with a career-high 40 tackles. He made 98 career stops and did not miss a game in his four Guilford season. Sutton also played extensively on special teams.
A 2003 graduate of Indian Land (S.C.) High School, Sutton was an all-region performer for coach Mike Mayer. He also earned all-region baseball and wrestling honors. Sutton's father, Joe, and uncles also starred at Indian Land and his sister, Kellie, competed with Clemson University's track and field team.
The Quakers open their 101st football season Saturday against Southern Virginia at 1:00 p.m. in Buena Vista, Va.. Guilford returns 45 letter winners, including 14 starters, from last year's 6-4 club (3-3 ODAC).