by Doug Page
WILSON, N.C. – Barton College director of athletics Todd Wilkinson has announced he has accepted the resignation of sports information director Benny Benton effective immediately. Benton will look to pursue other opportunities outside of the institution.
John Karrs has been hired to assume the role of Director of Athletic Communications for the Bulldogs and will officially start in his role on September 5th.
“Benny Benton has been a loyal and dedicated employee to Barton College and a true professional,” said Wilkinson. “He knows the sports information business and is a tremendous writer. I am going to miss Benny as a friend and colleague and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”
Benton joined the Barton College athletics department in a full-time role as assistant sports information director in August of 2013. He then transitioned into his current role of sports information director in January of 2015. Benton worked with the Bulldogs before joining the staff, covering select athletic events as a freelance statistician and writer in 2009 and 2010, and once again in 2012 and 2013.
Since 2009, Benton has worked on the tournament staff at the NCAA Division II Baseball National Finals, writing post-game releases and serving as press room moderator. He has also served on the NCAA Division II Men’s Tennis Southeast Regional Advisory Committee as well as the tournament SID for the Conference Carolinas Baseball Tournament.
Benton spent eight years as a reporter, columnist, and editor at the Florence Morning News in Florence, S.C. after graduating from Clemson University. He moved to North Carolina in 1997 and took the role of sports information director at Mount Olive College and joined the News Services Staff at North Carolina State after four years at Mount Olive.
Karrs joins Barton College after serving 16 years as the sports information director at his alma mater, Lenoir-Rhyne University. Karrs joined the LRU staff in 2002 after graduating from the school in 1999. He is a native of Hickory, N.C. and graduated from St. Stephens High School in 1995.
“Barton is very fortunate to hire John Karrs in the role of Director of Athletic Communications,” said Wilkinson. “John has a wealth of experience in NCAA Division II athletics. His previous experience with D2 football will be a tremendous asset to Barton as we implement the sport. I am looking forward to working with John as he came highly recommended as an outstanding professional and colleague.”
While at LRU, Karrs oversaw all SID aspects for each of the 22 sports including statistics, press releases, and social media pieces. He also served as media coordinator for several NCAA Regional and National Championships, including men’s and women’s golf, softball, football, women’s basketball, men’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s soccer.
Karr entered the sports information field as an intern at LRU in 1999 before heading to Norman, Okla., where he spent almost two yeas as an athletic media relations intern for the University of Oklahoma.