SUU to Everywhere

Richard Barton ('93/'96)

Richard Barton ('93/'96) | SUU to High School Athletic Director


Originally published on February 04, 2020.

Richard Barton, a certified master athletic administrator and assistant principal at Utah’s Richfield High School, was awarded the 2019 Thomas E. Frederick Award of Excellence by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA). The award is presented annually to a member of the NIAAA who provides strong leadership to education-based athletics and contributes to the profession of athletic administration.

Throughout his 22 years as an educator, coach and athletic director, Rich has embraced SUU’s motto of Learning Lives Forever. He has completed 39 leadership training courses, and is the author and national course chair of “Coaching Coaches to be Leadership Educators.” In addition, he sits on the NIAAA national faculty and has taught numerous courses at national and state conferences.

His NIAAA service also includes one year as president, a term on the board of directors, service as vice chair of the awards committee, and he was Utah’s representative to the delegate assembly. Rich also served a year as president of the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (UIAAA), and a stint as Utah’s certification coordinator and worked with the Utah High School Activities Association to require certification of all Utah athletic administrators.

Rich says he chose his career in education and education-based athletics because of the influence outstanding educators and coaches had on his life, and he wanted to pay it forward.

“I believe this career gives me the opportunity to have impact and influence that will significantly change and improve lives,” he says of his career choice.

Following his graduation from Cedar High School, Rich enrolled at SUU because “SUU was the only university I ever desired to attend and play basketball for,” and he says he would not trade is SUU experience for anything.

“My experience at SUU being a student, serving on the student senate, and as an athlete gave me the desire to pursue leadership and other opportunities outside my comfort zone,” he says. “The mentors at SUU helped lead me towards increasing my level of influence and leadership.”

And as he interacts with education leaders from across the country, he has discovered that his training at SUU is second to none.

“No one provides better preparation than SUU,” he says.

Rich and his wife Sheila, a 1992 alumna of SUU’s education department, are the parents of son Tyler, and live in Richfield, Utah.