WILSON, N.C. — August 29, 2023 — Barton College is pleased to announce the appointment of Ken Tyler as vice president for athletics. His start date is scheduled for September 18.
“Mr. Tyler is a consummate professional who is deeply committed to students and student learning,” shared Dr. Douglas N. Searcy, president of Barton College. “He has led successfully at the Division II and Division III levels and has a proven record of developing champions on and off the field. His focus has always been on student success, winning on the field and court, while growing excellent citizens and scholars.”
A seasoned professional, Tyler brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this role. He was a NCAA Division I men’s basketball student-athlete at the College of William and Mary where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He continued his education, earning a Master of Arts degree in Education and also completing an Executive Education Certificate in Business Management. His professional strengths lie in sports leadership, organizational strategy, growth innovation, and fundraising, among others.
“I am looking forward to joining Barton College and leading and developing a sense of distinction for our student athletes, as well as working with faculty, coaches, and administrators to support this community of student learners,” said Tyler. He will oversee Barton College’s athletics program that includes 25 NCAA DII sponsored intercollegiate teams and two non-sponsored intercollegiate teams. He will be responsible for leading nearly 720 student-athletes, in addition to coaches, administrators, athletic trainers, and support staff.
Tyler began his career as a high school teacher of history while also serving as the boys’ and girls’ basketball coach. He soon moved into college and university coaching as the assistant men’s basketball coach at East Stroudsburg University, Roanoke College, and James Madison University. From there, he moved into the role of assistant director of athletics and head men’s basketball coach at Albright College and, later, Shepherd University.
Tyler then served as director of athletics at West Virginia Wesleyan College, a Division II institution much like Barton College. There, he honed his philosophy of championing the academic progress of students and promoting all-around student wellness in concert with athletic excellence.
Next, for six years, he served as director of athletics and chair of the Department of Athletics, Health, and Physical Education at the University of Mary Washington, where he managed a $5 million program and 75 full-and part-time employees. During that tenure, there were conference championships in field hockey, women’s cross country, indoor track and field, men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball and volleyball; NCAA Sweet Sixteen in men’s and women’s tennis and women’s lacrosse; NCAA Elite Eight in men’s basketball and volleyball; NCAA Final Four in field hockey; and four individual NCAA national titles in men’s swimming.
Most recently, Tyler has served as the senior advancement officer for major gifts at the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., where he was responsible for cultivating and stewarding a major gift portfolio, as well as holding a leadership role in the school’s $150 million campaign. Concurrently, he has served as an adjunct professor for sports management at George Mason University. Prior to his appointment at the Episcopal School, Tyler combined his leadership strengths in athletics and fundraising, serving as director of athletics and director of advancement at The St. James, a sports and wellness complex offering 25 sports with a staff of approximately 400.
Tyler has a son Jordan, an officer in the United States Navy, and a daughter Logan, an admissions counselor at Bridgewater College. His partner, Dr. Leona Ba, is a professor at Georgetown University.