Barnhart is also the author of five books on college football: Always a Bulldog: Players, Coaches, and Fans Share Their Passion for Georgia Football, From Herschel to a Hobnailed Boot: The Life and Times of Larry Munson, Southern Fried Football, What it Means to Be a Bulldog and Dooley: My 40 Years at Georgia. He is a former president of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and a former president of the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). The 1999 Georgia Sports Writer of the Year, Barnhart was named the winner of the 2009 Bert McGrane Award, which is awarded to the newest member of the College Football Writers Hall of Fame. He also received the Jake Wade Award in 2006, honoring him for his contributions to college athletics. In December 2008, the Orange Bowl Committee honored Tony with its Edwin Pope Vanguard Media Award, which goes to the media member who has shown journalistic excellence in covering college athletics. Barnhart's television work has been nominated for two Southern Regional Emmy Awards.
A native of Union Point, Ga., Barnhart is a 1976 graduate of the Henry W. Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. He currently lives with his wife, Maria, in Atlanta.