by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – After serving Barton College for a decade as men's soccer head coach and campus administrator, Matt Akins has resigned in order to pursue another opportunity in his native state of New York, school officials announced Tuesday.
Akins worked in multiple capacities on campus throughout his time in Wilson, serving as an athletics admission counselor in the Office of Admissions in the early years of his tenure as head soccer coach before being named to the dual roles of assistant athletics director and compliance in 2015.
"Coach Matt Akins has been a loyal and dedicated employee at Barton College for the last 10 years," said Todd Wilkinson, Barton's director of athletics. "His contributions as a coach, administrator and community member have been transforming. He has been a true professional, and his departure will leave a void throughout the Barton and Wilson community. Barton thanks him for his service, and we wish Matt and his family health and happiness as they move closer to family and engage in a new opportunity."
Akins is a graduate of LeMoyne College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in business administration while playing soccer for four years and baseball for one season.
He served as a volunteer assistant at the University of Kentucky for two seasons and as a men's and women's assistant coach at Lincoln Memorial University before being chosen to follow long-time coach and athletic director Gary Hall in leading the Bulldogs in 2007.
Barton enjoyed its finest season under Akins in 2014 when the Bulldogs went 13-7 and earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional for the first time in school history.
Among the many players he coached were one All-American, two Academic All-Americans and numerous all-region and all-conference selections.
"It is with tremendous emotion that I depart Barton College and the Wilson community," Akins said. "In my 10 years here, I have had great leaders to guide me along the way. They include Gary Hall, who passed me the baton to lead his hall-of fame program, and Amanda Metts in the Office of Admissions. Current AD Todd Wilkinson has been an outstanding mentor, and I am grateful for the belief he had in me.
"As a coach, having the opportunity to work with the young men in our program everyday was truly an honor. The relationships developed within this great community will always hold a special place in my heart as my family and I say goodbye. I look forward to viewing the growth of the institution and the soccer program in years to come."
Akins' resignation is effective June 5.