Barton announces hiring of Balentine to lead cross country and track programs

Barton announces hiring of Balentine to lead cross country and track programs

by Benny Benton

WILSON, N.C. – Chad Balentine has been named head coach of the men's and women's cross country, men's and women's indoor track and field, and men's and women's outdoor track and field programs at Barton College, school officials announced Tuesday.

Balentine has spent the past three seasons as assistant track and field and cross country coach at University of Montevallo, an NCAA Division II program located in Montevallo, Ala.

He brings a wide variety of experience to Barton that also includes serving as a head coach at Bevill State Community College, an assistant coach at NCAA Division III program Birmingham-Southern College, and a graduate assistant at NCAA Division I programs Troy University and Jacksonville State University.  

"It is with great excitement that we welcome Coach Chad Balentine to our athletics team," said Todd Wilkinson, Barton's director of athletics. "Coach Balentine came highly recommended, and his engaging personality and passion for his profession have been apparent from my first contact with him. 

"Coach Balentine has a big job ahead of him coaching six teams. However, he has a strong background in all of the cross country and track and field disciplines. Student-athletes who have worked with Coach Balentine have been successful.  He knows what it takes to get to elite status, and is able to communicate this clearly. Our programs are in great hands moving forward with Coach Balentine, and I am elated with his acceptance of the job."

Balentine will fill the position left vacant by David Nicholson, who resigned just over a month ago to accept the head coaching position at Lindenwood (Mo.) University.

"I would like to thank Athletic Director Todd Wilkinson, Assistant Athletic Director of Compliance Andrea Roca and the staff at Barton College for this tremendous opportunity to lead the Bulldog track and field and cross country programs," Balentine said. "I am very honored to be granted this chance, and I look forward to working with you.

"The program is in great shape, and there is very strong administrative leadership in place as we look to take the program to new heights. I greatly appreciate Assistant Coach Tyler Amerson holding the team together throughout this transition, particularly the cross country crew. We will begin recruiting immediately, and plan to bring in a strong 2019 class to add to the fine student-athletes who currently make up the Bulldog track and field and cross country programs."

Balentine earned his undergraduate degree in human environmental sciences from the University of Alabama, and soon afterwards began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Troy. He accepted his first head coaching role in 2009 at Bevill State, where he guided the Bears to nine junior college All-American honors and seven Academic All-American awards in his two seasons at the helm.

He spent two seasons as an assistant at Birmingham-Southern, where he helped two student-athletes reach the D3 nationals in the javelin, and one year as a GA at Jacksonville State while working on a master's degree in human performance, which he is in the final stages of completing.

In August of 2015, Balentine moved into his most recent position as an assistant coach for Montevallo, a D2 program that recently transitioned from the Peach Belt Conference to the Gulf South Conference.

Working directly with team members in the jumps, javelin and multis (heptathlon and pentathlon), Balentine helped produce three PBC conference champions, a Gulf South champion, 11 all-region selections and seven NCAA provisional qualifiers in those disciplines for the Falcons.

"I'd like to thank Coach Tommy Barksdale, the staff, athletic administration, and especially my student-athletes at the University of Montevallo for a wonderful last three years," Balentine said. "You all will forever have a place in my heart and I appreciate you all very much. I am also thankful to my loving wife, Natasha, for all her support as we begin our new journey at Barton College. Natasha and I look forward to relocating to Wilson and becoming a part of the Barton College Bulldog family. I am super excited to get on campus and get started. Go Bulldogs!"

Balentine will begin working immediately for Barton, which will start its 2018 cross country season on Friday with a meet at University of Mount Olive.