BiographiesFlames Home > Directory > Jeff Barber Biography
Director of Athletics
B.S., East Carolina ('81)
Jeff Barber was named the Director of Athletics at Liberty University on Jan. 23, 2006, becoming the 10th Director of Athletics in the history of the University.
The University has charged Barber with the leadership of the athletics department and the building of a strong financial basis for the department which will guide Liberty University athletics into the ranks of the elite NCAA Division I athletic programs in the nation.
Barber wasted little time making an impact at Liberty, as in five years he has been instrumental in guiding Liberty on a path to the next level of collegiate athletics.
He has spearheaded facility improvement projects in every athletics venue, highlighted by changes to Williams Stadium, the Vines Center, Worthington Stadium, the Liberty Tennis Courts, the Cook Tennis Center, Osborne Stadium, the Luurtsema Center and the new multi-sport complex which will service Liberty’s field hockey and women’s lacrosse programs.
During the summer of 2006, the football program’s on-campus playing facility received the latest in playing surfaces as FieldTurf was installed, while numerous other smaller projects were initiated to aesthetically improve the appearance of the facility. Barber has also engineered the addition of the brand new Daktronics video scoreboard located in the North end zone.
In 2010, Barber oversaw a major expansion of Williams Stadium, increasing the complex’s seating capacity from 12,000 to 19,200 seats. The project also included construction of a brand new five-story tower, equipped with a fully functional press box, an 11,000-square foot Flames Club pavilion and 18 luxury suites.
Prior to the recent stadium expansion, Barber’s chief facility accomplishment since joining the Flames in 2006 was overseeing the completion of the Williams Football Operations Center. The 48,000-square foot state-of-the-art home base for the football program is one of the most outstanding FCS (formerly I-AA) football-only facilities in the nation.
In addition to Barber’s athletics facility achievements, the Director of Athletics has spurred a dramatic record-setting increase in Flames Club memberships and season ticket sales for football and basketball. Each year he has served as Director of Athletics, Liberty has set new records for Flames Club memberships and giving, as well as season ticket sales.
In 2007-08 the athletics booster club set new records, pulling in $351,000 in annual membership contributions. The same year saw Liberty Athletics surpass the $1 million mark in giving, as the Flames Club brought in $1.3 million in total capital gifts. It was another banner year for the athletics booster club in 2008-09 as member growth has ballooned to 1,537 members contributing $382,000, with $2.2 million in capital gifts to construct new or improve existing facilities. In 2009-10, the Flames Club continued its growing trend, with members contributing $392,000 to the annual fund. This past year, the Flames Club grew to over 500 members, who contributed $418,000. Also under Barber, marketing/sponsorship revenue has increased at 120 percent each of the past five years.
Barber has also guided the Flames to success on the athletics field of competition, highlighted by four consecutive Big South Sasser Cup championships, bringing Liberty’s total to nine. Liberty won 10 team championships during the 2007-08 campaign, including eight Big South titles, an NCAA East Regional championship in wrestling and an IC4A outdoor title in men’s track and field. Liberty followed up by capturing seven team championships during the 2008-09 year, including six Big South titles and its third straight NCAA East Regional wrestling championship.
During the 2009-10 season, Liberty posted eight Big South titles, an NCAA East Regional championship in wrestling and was represented in eight different sports in an NCAA Championship event. In 2010-11, the Flames captured another eight Big South team championships and their fifth consecutive NCAA East Regional wrestling crown.
Besides the Sasser Cup championships, Barber also saw Liberty bring home the Big South’s Men’s All-Sport and Women’s All-Sport trophies, along with its second individual national championship when Josh McDougal crossed the finish line first at the 2007 NCAA Cross Country national championship. Liberty also repeated in capturing the Big South’s Men’s All-Sport trophy in 2009.
In 2011, Liberty won the Big South Women’s All-Sport Trophy for the third time since the award was established eight years ago and the second year in a row. Liberty is only the second athletics department in Big South history to win the Sasser Cup, Men’s All-Sport and Women’s All-Sport trophies in the same year.
Barber has also witnessed Liberty add to its NCAA trophy case the past two seasons, as Sam Chelanga has captured four NCAA Division I individual national championships. Chelanga won back-to-back NCAA cross country titles in 2009 and 2010. He also won an event at each of the last two NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, claiming the 10K title in 2010 and taking home top honors in the 5K in 2011.
The Flames’ success has garnered national attention on several levels, earning Barber a four-year appointment to the NCAA’s Recruiting Cabinet, beginning with the 2008-09 academic year. Barber is also on numerous other committees, including current four-year appointments on the NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee and the NCAA Leadership Council. He also previously served on the NCAA Division I FCS ADA Executive Committee.
Barber serves as the Big South Conference chair for the league’s television development and baseball committees. He sits on the Big South committees for football, budgets and track/cross country, while he also took part in the Big South Conference 25th Anniversary celebration committee.
Barber is a member of NACDA and NAAD and serves on the Board of Directors for the Child Evangelism Fellowship for Central Virginia (past member), and also on the Board of Directors for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Barber brought a wealth of experience in the areas of athletic fundraising and administration to Liberty University, including 25 previous years in the athletic industry.
Barber came to Liberty after spending 11 years at South Carolina, including his last three years as Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development/Gamecock Club Executive Director.
Barber served on the senior management team at South Carolina for nine years, helping raise more than $14 million annually, while working closely with legendary football coaches Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier.
Barber supervised the solicitation and receipt of over $85 million during his tenure at South Carolina, setting records each year in annual gifts to the Gamecock Club, which was at 16,500 members when he finished. He was also responsible for all major gifts to the Gamecock Club which exceeded $15,000 annually and developed that level of giving from 21 members to 137 at his time of departure.
Barber joined the athletics department at South Carolina in 1996 as an Assistant Athletic Director for Development and was promoted to Associate Athletic Director/Gamecock Club Executive Director in 1999.
Prior to his days at South Carolina, Barber served five years at Furman in Greenville, S.C., starting as Executive Director of the Paladin Club in 1991, before being promoted to Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs in 1994.
While at Furman, Barber was responsible for the collection of $14 million in revenue from annual giving, capital gifts and endowed gifts, while guiding the Paladin Club to gifts totaling $3.75 million and set records for five-consecutive years. He was also the chairman of the Furman Pro-Am Golf Endowment Tournament, which totaled receipts of $6.5 million.
Barber got his start in collegiate athletic administration at his alma mater as the Assistant Director of East Carolina’s Pirate Club in 1987. While serving four years with the Pirates, Barber participated in the receipt of annual giving of $4 million to the Pirate Club, while organizing and managing Pirate Club actions and Pirate Pro-Am fundraisers.
Before joining the staff at East Carolina, Barber served three years in major and minor league baseball as he was the Assistant General Manager of the Columbia Mets in Columbia, S.C. (1985-86) and Director of Operations for the Montreal Expos Spring Training Camp in West Palm Beach, Fla. (1986-87).
After graduating from East Carolina, Barber served as a health and physical education teacher in Columbia, S.C. for four years (1981-85), while coaching football and basketball.
Barber graduated cum laude at East Carolina in 1981 with a bachelor of science degree in health, physical education and recreation. In 1997, he continued his education with a degree from the Sports Management Institute, graduating as class spokesman.
Barber, a native of Greenville, N.C., is married to the former Donna Dacus and the couple has three children – Katie (16), Lindsay (14) and Jay (13).