by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – Ashley Leonard, men’s and women’s golf coach at Barton College for the past four years, has been promoted to assistant athletic director, school officials announced Tuesday.
Leonard will continue to lead the two golf programs while also taking on the additional administrative responsibilities of assistant AD.
“I am pleased to announce the promotion of Ashley Leonard to assistant athletic director,” said Todd Wilkinson, Barton’s director of athletics. “Ashley has been a dedicated and passionate employee for the previous four years as head coach of both the men’s and women’s golf teams. Her strong organizational skills and attention to detail will contribute greatly to the athletic department.”
“I’m happy to have this opportunity, and pleased with the fact that Todd has that trust in me,” Leonard said. “It will be some new territory for me, but it’s definitely something that has interested me. I’m looking forward to jumping in and going to work. Todd will be a great mentor.”
Wilkinson said that Leonard “will be directly involved with the day-to-day administrative work within the department, with emphasis on athletic business and the Bulldog Club.”
In her new capacity, Leonard will help guide a department that supports 22 intercollegiate athletic programs and nearly 300 student-athletes.
“Todd wants me to be involved in as much as possible as often as I can,” Leonard said. “My first priority will still be coaching men’s and women’s golf, and he knows that’s a pretty daunting task as well, running two teams with little off-season. So we will have to work through some of that. But I expect to be doing a little bit of everything.”
Leonard said the opportunity to be involved in the business side of college athletics was particularly appealing.
“At the end of the day, athletics is a business,” she said. “I feel like I’m pretty good at that side of it. I’m a worker and I want to learn new things. It’s a great opportunity for me to jump in and learn a new aspect of college athletics.”
Leonard graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in business administration, and has previous real-life experience in the business of athletics as both a player and manager. Leonard played golf professionally on the Duramed Futures Tour for four years, and later served as head golf professional at Birchwood Country Club in Nashville, N.C., before joining the staff at Barton.
She is a native of Rocky Mount, N.C., and attended Northern Nash High School, where she won three consecutive individual state golf titles.