Barrett is from South Florida and spent the past five seasons as an assistant at the University of Central Florida. He was quarterbacks coach in 2015 and became the interim head coach when George O'Leary retired eight games into the season. The Knights then lost their final four games to finish 0-12.
Barrett played in the CFL for 15 years for Calgary, Toronto, British Columbia and Ottawa. He coached the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2000-06 and reached the playoffs five years in a row.