Lynchburg, Va. (PRWEB) June 25, 2012
After leading Liberty Athletics to another banner year, including a fifth straight Big South Sasser Cup, Liberty University Director of Athletics Jeff Barber has been selected as one of four FCS Under Armour AD of the Year award winners.
The award will be presented to Barber during a special luncheon at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention in Dallas, Texas, June 22-28.
The Under Armour AD of the Year Award program was created to honor intercollegiate directors of athletics for their commitment and administrative excellence within a campus and/or college community environment.
The award spans seven divisions (NCAA FBS, FCS, Division I, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions and Junior/Community Colleges) and annually honors 29 athletics directors (four from each division) as regional winners, and one international recipient.
Joining Barber (Southeast) as fellow FCS Under Armour AD of the Year award winners are Jim Fiore, Stony Brook (Northeast), Gene Taylor, North Dakota State (Central) and Peter Fields, Montana State (West).
During the 2011-12 athletic year, Liberty once again was a dominant force at the conference, regional and national levels of intercollegiate athletics.
Under Barber’s leadership, Liberty captured the Big South Sasser Cup award for the fifth year in a row, crowning Liberty the top athletics program in the Big South Conference. Liberty became the first program to win the conference’s top award five consecutive years.
Additionally, it was Liberty's 10th Sasser Cup title in the last 14 athletics seasons. That is the most Sasser Cup crowns ever earned by a Big South institution, one more than Coastal Carolina's nine Sasser Cups.
Liberty captured 10 Big South championships in 2011-12, including two regular-season titles and eight tournament crowns. The Flames won the regular-season title in women's basketball and shared the regular-season crown in volleyball, while claiming the conference tournament championship in men's cross country, men's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's indoor track & field, women's basketball, men's golf and men's outdoor track & field.
In total, 12 of the 17 Big South athletics programs Liberty sponsors finished first or second in either the Big South regular-season standings or at their Big South Championship event. The list also includes women's cross country (second place), football (second place), women's outdoor track & field (second place) and baseball (Big South Championship runner-up).
Liberty sent three different programs (women’s basketball, men’s soccer and golf) and three individuals to NCAA Championship events in 2011-12, spotlighted by a 10th-place finish by the golf program at the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Barber was instrumental in continuing the success of Liberty’s football program when he hired Turner Gill on Dec. 14, 2011 as the program’s head coach eighth head coach. Gill, the former Kansas head coach and standout quarterback at Nebraska, inherits a program that has finished the last four years ranked inside the Top 25 and has won seven or more games each season during the same time span.
Besides hiring Gill as head football coach, Barber helped jumpstart the future placement of the football program in the landscape of intercollegiate athletics by spearheading an FBS Feasibility Study.
The year-long process culminated on May 12 when Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., announced Liberty University's intention to seek NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conference affiliation for its 20-team athletics program during its annual commencement ceremony.
During his six-year tenure as Director of Athletics, Barber has continually fought to ensure that Liberty student-athletes compete in the latest on-campus facilities.
This past year, Liberty began to construct a brand new 2,500-seat baseball stadium and a three-court basketball practice facility, plus completed a new field hockey and lacrosse complex and started renovations to the Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex.
Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Va., is the world’s largest Christian university. Nearly 100,000 students attend classes on its 6,800-acre residential campus and study in its thriving online education program.