Bruce Barnum

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Bruce Barnum
Bruce Barnum in 2016.jpg
Barnum in 2016 at CEFCU Stadium
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamPortland State
ConferenceBig Sky
Biographical details
Born (1964-04-13) April 13, 1964 (age 55)
Vancouver, Washington
Alma materEastern Washington University ('87)
Western Washington University ('91)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1986Central Valley H.S. (WA) (AC)
1987–1988Columbia River H.S. (WA) (AC)
1989–1990Western Washington (OL)
1991–1992Cornell (OL)
1993American International (OL)
1994–1997Coast Guard (AHC/OL)
1998Idaho State (OL)
1999Idaho State (DL)
2000Idaho State (DC)
2001–2006Idaho State (OC)
2007–2009Cornell (OC/OL)
2010–2014Portland State (OC)
2015–presentPortland State
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
STATS FCS Coach of the Year (2015)
Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year (2015)

Bruce Eugene Barnum[1] (born April 13, 1964) is an American football coach who is the current head coach for the Portland State Vikings college football team.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Vancouver, Washington, Barnum graduated from Columbia River High School in Vancouver in 1982.[2] He then attended Eastern Washington University and participated on the scout team of the Eastern Washington Eagles football team for two seasons.[3] Barnum completed his bachelor's degree in education and history at Eastern Washington University in 1987 and M.Ed. at Western Washington University in 1991.[4]

Coaching career[edit]

Barnum began his coaching career as a high school assistant coach in Washington state, first at Central Valley High School in Spokane Valley in 1986 then with his alma mater Columbia River High School from 1987 to 1988.[4]

From 1989 to 1990, Barnum was offensive line coach at Division II Western Washington University. Barnum moved up to the Division I level in 1991 as assistant offensive line coach and freshman offensive coordinator at Cornell, where he would remain for two seasons under Jim Hofher. In 1993, Barnum returned to the Division II level as offensive line coach and run game coordinator at American International College.[4]

Barnum then coached at the Division III level, at Coast Guard as offensive line coach and assistant head coach from 1994 to 1997. After his stint at Coast Guard, Barnum returned to the Division I level at Idaho State and started as offensive line coach in 1998 under Tom Walsh. Under new head coach Larry Lewis, Barnum moved to the defensive line in 1999 and was promoted to defensive coordinator the following season. From 2001 to 2006, Barnum was offensive coordinator.[4]

In 2007, Barnum returned to Cornell as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, positions he held from 2007 to 2009, this time under Jim Knowles. In 2010, Barnum joined Nigel Burton's coaching staff at Portland State as offensive coordinator.[4]

After he was appointed interim head coach after Nigel Burton was fired in November 2014, Barnum was named as the Vikings' permanent replacement as head coach on December 8, 2014.[5]

Barnum led the Vikings to a 24–17 upset over the Washington State Cougars at Martin Stadium in Pullman, WA on September 5, 2015 for his first career victory as head coach.[6] On October 10 Portland State defeated North Texas 66–7, giving Barnum and the Vikings their second victory over an FBS school in 2015. The 59-point win set a new NCAA record for the largest margin of victory by an FCS school over an FBS opponent.[7] Barnum became the inaugural STATS FCS Coach of the Year for leading Portland State to a 9–3 season and first FCS Playoff appearance in 15 years.[4]

Barnum has occasionally been criticized for deriding opposing teams. For example, in the week leading up to Portland State's 2016 road matchup with Southern Utah, he caused ripples of outrage in the Utah media when he stated, referring to Cedar City, UT (home of SUU), "I didn't want to stay in Whoville. We are going to stay up in the Grinch's Castle [referring to nearby Brian Head, UT]. We are going to go down, play them Saturday, whoop up on them." In response to the comments, SUU fans showed up to the game en masse, setting a single-game school attendance record. Many carried signs and banners mocking Barnum's statements, while others dressed up as characters from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". SUU won the game, 45-31.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Barnum married the former Shawna Quigley in 1994.[1] They have two children.[4] In July 2017, Barnum was publicly disciplined by Portland State University following the revelation of an inappropriate relationship with a married female staff member.[9][10] Barnum received "significant economic sanctions" from the University following the investigation.[11]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# STATS°
Portland State Vikings (Big Sky Conference) (2015–present)
2015 Portland State 9–3 6–2 T–2nd L FCS Playoffs Second Round 10 10
2016 Portland State 3–8 2–6 T–9th
2017 Portland State 0–11 0–8 13th
2018 Portland State 4–7 3–5 T–9th
2019 Portland State 0–0 0–0
Portland State: 16–29 11–21
Total: 16–29
  • #Rankings from final FCS Coaches Poll.
  • °Rankings from final STATS FCS Poll.


  1. ^ a b "Shawna Quigley and Bruce Barnum". The Telegraph. Nashua, N.H. September 18, 1994. p. F4.
  2. ^ Rice, Micah (April 24, 2015). "Vancouver's Bruce Barnum given a year to prove himself as Portland State football coach". The Columbian. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
  3. ^ Allen, Jim (November 17, 2015). "Portland State's Bruce Barnum has fond memories of Eastern". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Bruce Barnum". Portland State University. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
  5. ^ Goe, Ken (December 8, 2014). "Bruce Barnum will be Portland State's interim head football coach through the 2015 season". The Oregonian. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  6. ^ "College Football Week 1 live updates: Portland State stuns Washington State; Stanford falls to Northwestern". September 5, 2015. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  7. ^ "Vikings Enjoy Aftermath Of Another Landmark Afternoon". October 11, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Eggers, Kerry (August 17, 2017). "Portland State disciplines football coach Bruce Barnum". Portland Tribune. Archived from the original on 2017-08-22. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  10. ^ Miller, Ryan (August 18, 2017). "PSU coach Bruce Barnum disciplined for inappropriate relationship". The Spectrum. Archived from the original on 2017-08-22. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  11. ^ Barnett, Zach (August 18, 2017). "An FCS head coach has been publicly disciplined for an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer". Football Scoop. Archived from the original on 2017-08-22. Retrieved August 21, 2017.