WILSON, N.C. – Barton College has announced its 2019 induction class for its Athletic Hall of Fame, which includes current Athletic Director Todd Wilkinson and deceased former Head Baseball Coach Jack "Doc" Sanford, and five former Bulldog star performers. They include Shea Seagle Awad, Oscar Blacutt, Jackie Williford Copeland, Elfatih Eltom and Carey Pittman. The induction ceremony will take place on Friday, October 18, on campus at Hardy Alumni Hall.
Wilkinson first came to then Atlantic Christian College in the spring of 1988 to take over the Bulldog baseball team. Having been a standout player and then assistant coach at the University of North Carolina, he led the program to the then Carolinas Conference championship in 1993. He amassed 496 career wins, the most ever for a baseball coach at Barton, and led his teams to four league championships before moving into a full-time role as Assistant Athletic Director in 2011. Wilkinson served as mentor for two stints: 1988-95 and 2001-11.
Wilkinson was promoted to Director of Athletics in 2015. Under his leadership, the athletic program has added football, men's and women's lacrosse, and men's and women's swimming. During this time, the Sports Performance Center has opened and the Synthetic Turf Playing Field has been developed. Wilkinson is also responsible for additional initiatives, including the establishment of the Student-Athlete Leadership Academy in conjunction with the Janssen Leadership Center.
Sanford served as the College's Head Baseball Coach on an interim basis for 1970 and 1973 and from 1980-84, leading the Bulldogs to the Carolinas Conference Championship in 1984. He had previously played major league baseball for the Washington Senators and coached at then Elon College. He also served as a professor in the Department of Physical Education and Health for the College.
Awad graduated in 2003 and led the Barton women's soccer team to its first two ever conference championships in 2001 and 2002 under Head Coach Todd Bailess. She was a tenacious defender as the Bulldogs were 33-9-2 in league play and 47-23-3 overall in her four seasons. Awad recorded a perfect 4.0 grade point average in each of her final six semesters at Barton. She is a native of the Richmond Area, where she and her family now reside and she works as a Wellness Administrator.
Blacutt finished at Barton in 1993 and was an All-American under Head Coach Tom Morris as the program was revived to claim three consecutive Carolinas Conference championships. He is a well-respected teaching professional in the Piedmont Triad Area, currently serving at High Point Country Club. John Isner, recently ranked in the top ten of the world rankings, is one of his former pupils. He has represented his native Bolivia in Davis Cup competition and will serve as Captain for its team in 2019.
Copeland, class of 1991, led Head Coach Wendee Saintsing's first Carolinas Conference championship basketball team as a high-scoring outside shooter. She is originally from Windsor and excelled at Lawrence Academy before coming to Barton. She has taught and coached for over two decades at Bertie (N.C.) High School, leading the girls' basketball team previously and currently serving as the Head Coach for Women's Tennis and Softball.
Eltom, a 1980 alum, led the Bulldogs to their first-ever Carolinas Conference and NAIA District 26 championships in 1978 and 1979 respectively, under Head Coach David Adkins. Displaying great speed and an overpowering left-footed shot, he was Carolinas Conference and NAIA District 26 Player of the Year in his senior season. Eltom is a native of Khartoum, SUDAN, and currently works as a chemist in the United Arab Emirates.
Pittman led Head Coach Ed Cloyd's Bulldogs' golf team to the NAIA District 29 championship in 1974 and the 1975 Carolinas Conference championship by finishing as medalist in both events. The 1974 team advanced to the NAIA Championship Tournament. Pittman, class of 1975, is originally from Scotland Neck and has been a golf course operator, designer, and builder.