From Cleats to the Cross



After serving as a graduate assistant for one season and an assistant coach for three years Cliff Barna has hung up his football cleats and is beginning a new service with athletics at Bethel. Barna has accepted the position of Chaplain of Athletics at the school serving the various 28 sports programs, coaches, staff, and over 750 student-athletes. 

Barna is originally from Ocala, Florida and attended Bethel University from 2003-2010. He played football on the Defensive Line from 2003 to 2008 and received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 2008. After graduating he pursued his Master’s in Education at Bethel University and became a Graduate Assistant as the Defensive Line Coach for the football team. After receiving his Master’s in Education in 2010 he became an assistant coach remaining the Defensive Line Coach. Until last season Barna was the All-Time Sack Leader and Tackles for Loss leader at Bethel. Ironically, under Barna’s guidance Joey Dienye broke both career records in 2013. 

In the summer of 2010 Cliff began his pursuit in his second Master's in Divinity at Memphis Theological Seminary.

Coach Barna is married to Kasey Hope Barna. Kasey is from Paris, Tenn. She played softball for Bethel from 2007-2011. Kasey received her Bachelor of Science in Biology in the spring of 2011 and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing May of 2013. She is currently working as a Registered Nurse at Henry County Hospital in Paris.

Bethel Associate Director of Athletics Richard Vaughn said, “We are very excited about Cliff's appointment as Chaplain of Athletics. Cliff will be a valuable resource for our student-athletes. Being a former player and coach, Cliff has a background that our athletes will relate well to. Cliff has been, and will continue to be, a valuable asset to our department and University".

Chaplain Barna feels very blessed with the opportunity to serve at a place he loves. "Bethel University has been a huge blessing in my life as an undergraduate student, graduate student, and football coach. I am thrilled to fill in the new position as the Chaplain of Athletics and the opportunities I will have to serve the coaches, students, and all of Bethel University. I look forward to witnessing how God moves through these opportunities, all glory be to God!"