Greg Barton -1971-72 - Tulsa
Greg Barton earned Junior College All America honors playing quarterback at Long Beach City College with a team that had to be one of the strongest in the nation. Teammates included future USC All Americans Ron Yary, Mike Battle, and Earl McCullough. Barton played quarterback at Tulsa and was recognized as one of the best passers in collegiate ball in 1966 and into 1967 until suffering a separated shoulder that ended his season prematurely.
Drafted by the Lions in the 1968 draft in the 9th round, 223 overall Barton played behind Greg Landry and Bill Munson before playing out his option in 1970.
Leo Cahill recruited the quarterback heavily to join the Argonauts in 1971. Cahill signed Barton, who had played out his option with the Detroit Lions and had been traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for three draft choices, to a five-year contract for a reported $350,000. Barton signed with the understanding he would be the clubs #1 quarterback. Following that signing Cahill was still in pursuit of Joe Theismann and when that deal was confirmed it was decided the two quarterbacks would alternate.
Cahill employed a quarterbacking tandem where the quarterbacks would alternate by series. While unconventional the plan did have success, as Theismann the more mobile of the two at quarterback alternated styles with Barton who was much more of a pocket passer.
The tandem came to an end in a September 25th game versus Calgary when Barton broke a finger and was sidelined for the rest of the season. Theismann took over the full-time duties but Barton provided help as an offensive assistant.
Barton played part of the 1972 season with terrible results – no touchdowns and 9 interceptions that led to his release from the club as a player. Greg did remain with the club as Director Of Player Personnel.
In 1973 he again had a dual role, this time as offensive coordinator and Assistant General Manager with the Argonauts.
In 1974 he joined the World Football League and played the entire season for the Portland Storm As the team entered the 1975 season he worked tirelessly to keep the players together as a unit and sought local investors for ownership. More than any other individual Barton persevered to save the franchise. When attorney Richard Bayless stepped in to assume ownership, he hired oft-traveled Bob Brodhead as President and General Manager.
Brodhead’s first act was to name Greg Barton, all of twenty-eight years of age as the youngest head football coach in the sport. The team finished the 1975 season at 4-7 when the leage ceased operations.
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