Charleston Southern University introduced Jeff Barber as the school's new Athletic Director on Thursday afternoon at the Buccaneer Field House. Barber, who spent a decade as an administrator at the University of South Carolina and another 11 years as athletic director at Liberty University, becomes the third A.D. in CSU history. He will assume his duties on June 1.
Barber brings with him 29 years of total Division I college athletic experience, most recently at fellow Big South Conference institution, Liberty, from 2006-2016. Barber follows Howard Bagwell (1965-2000) and Hank Small (2001-2018) as he assumes leadership of the Buccaneers' athletic department.
"I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Dr. Hunter, Dr. Costin, and Vice President Luke Blackmon for their belief and confidence in me to lead our athletics department at this important time in history," Barber said. "Throughout the interview process, it became very clear that this University is poised for tremendous growth and success over the next ten years. To have an opportunity to be a part; that is overwhelming and I feel extremely humbled and blessed to be a part of the Charleston Southern family."
During his tenure at Liberty, Barber was instrumental in leading the Flames on to the next level of collegiate athletics. His efforts were recognized in June 2012 when he was named the NACDA FCS Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year for the Southeast region.
Barber spurred a record-setting increase in Flames Club memberships, giving and season ticket sales for football and basketball. During the last 10 years, the Flames Club experienced tremendous growth and collected nearly $10 million in total contributions. Flames Club membership hit the 1,000 mark in 2015, a near 10-fold growth during Barber's time at Liberty.
Barber spearheaded new construction efforts for baseball (Liberty Baseball Stadium), softball (Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium), field hockey and lacrosse (Liberty Field Hockey and Lacrosse Fields and East Campus Field House), men's and women's soccer (Luurtsema Center) and men's golf (Clarkson Club and driving range).
Liberty's athletic programs continued to soar to new heights on the field of competition throughout Barber's tenure. Over his 11-year span, Liberty won 83 conference titles, including seven Big South football championships, and earned NCAA Tournament berths in baseball, field hockey, football, men's basketball, men's golf, men's soccer, softball, volleyball, women's basketball and women's soccer. Additionally, Liberty student-athletes won five individual NCAA Division I national championships during Barber's time on Liberty Mountain.
Barber's academic backing also paid huge dividends for Liberty's student-athletes. In 2011, Liberty became the 14th school in the country to receive national academic certification from the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A).
Barber came to Liberty after spending 10 years at the University of South Carolina, including his last three years as senior associate athletic director for development/Gamecock Club executive director. He also worked for four years apiece in both the Furman and East Carolina athletic departments.
Barber graduated cum laude at East Carolina in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. In 1997, he continued his education with a degree from the Sports Management Institute, graduating as class spokesman.
A native of Greenville, N.C., Barber and his wife Donna have three children: Katie, Lindsay and Jay.
What they had to say about Athletic Director Jeff Barber
"We are delighted to have Jeff Barber as our new athletic director. Jeff brings extensive experience in leading a successful Division I Athletic program at a major Christian university. I have worked with Jeff through the Big South Conference for many years. The future of CSU athletics will be in good hands." – CSU President Dr. Jairy C. Hunter.
"I was very pleased in Charleston Southern's ability to attract such quality applicants for the Director of Athletics. We are blessed and very fortunate to have a man of Jeff Barber's caliber join our team. His experience, relationship skills, and positive attitude will make him an asset to the CSU family." – CSU Vice President for Business Affairs and Athletics Luke Blackmon.
"This is a huge win for Charleston Southern. To attract an individual with the experience, professionalism and leadership ability of Jeff Barber is a game-changer. I know from personal experience what Jeff's vision can do to transform an athletic program. We will see that at Charleston Southern. Additionally, he will be a tremendous asset to the Big South as he understands the big picture and is a consummate team player. We are thrilled to welcome Jeff back to the Big South!" – Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander.
"Jeff Barber isn't just a slam dunk for CSU; he's a behind the back, off the glass, windmill 360 slam dunk of a hire for Charleston Southern. For two decades, I have watched Jeff handle himself with the utmost professionalism, class and excellence. I have always admired Jeff's energy and passion. The strides Liberty made under his leadership were absolutely amazing. We are all excited to join forces with Jeff to continue to grow this athletic department to new heights and a new excellence. I am so excited that Jeff is part of our Buccaneer Athletic family." – CSU head men's basketball coach Barclay Radebaugh