Joe Barry has been around football for a long time.
As his father Mike told the Los Angeles Times many year ago, “Joe started hanging around football practice fields and locker rooms when he was 3 or 4 years old.”
In 1993, the father-son duo shared the same sidelines. Mike was the offensive line coach for USC while Joe, then a senior, played linebacker for the Trojans.
“For a lot of years, because of my coaching jobs, it was his mom who was there for him at his games, not his dad. And he always understood that,” Mike said. “I left college coaching for the [United States Football League] and for most of two years the family stayed behind, when I went to San Antonio, New Orleans and Portland.”
Necessarily, Joe had to move around a lot as a kid, constantly changing schools and making new friends.
“People ask what it was like, moving around so much, but it’s the only life I ever lived,” Joe said. “I have nothing else to compare it to.”
As a prep, he attended Fairview High School, the same high school as Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano, and played for Pagano’s father, Sam, who was the head coach.
A native of Boulder, Colo., Barry was recruited to play linebacker at the University of Michigan and the USC, but chose the Wolverines. He soon found that his playing time didn’t match his expectations and transferred in his junior year to play with the Trojans where he earned varsity letters in his last two years.
He graduated from USC in 1994 with a degree in communications and shortly after began coaching the team, starting his ascent to the NFL.
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