Wilkinson tops Barton Hall of Fame 2019 class

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Barton College athletic director Todd Wilkinson, who directed the Bulldogs’ baseball program for two stints over 17 years, is one of seven inductees comprising the 2019 class of the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame. 

The induction ceremony will take place Friday, Oct. 18, at Hardy Alumni Hall and will also see the late Jack “Doc” Sanford, Shea Seagle Awad, Oscar Blacutt, Jackie Williford Copeland, Elfatih Eltom and Carey Pittman join the hall. 

Wilkinson, who played collegiately at the University of North Carolina and served as an assistant coach with the Tar Heels, arrived at Atlantic Christian (now Barton) College in the spring of 1988. Wilkinson led Barton to the Carolinas Conference championship in 1993 and won 496 games with the Bulldogs, the most in program history. He led Barton to four league titles and supplemented his time at Barton with an assistants post at UNC Wilmington and as assistant director at North Carolina Baseball Academy for two years. He returned to Barton in 2001 as head coach and served until 2011, where he was promoted to assistant athletic director. Upon the retirement of Gary Hall, Wilkinson was elevated to the AD position.

Five sports, including football, have been added under his watch along with the opening of the program’s Sports Performance Center and Electric Supply Company Field.

Sanford served as baseball coach in 1970 and 1973 on an interim basis and as the full-time coach from 1980-84, directing Barton to a Carolinas Conference title in 1984.

Awad, a 2003 graduate of Barton who now resides in Richmond, Va., led the Lady Bulldogs to the first two conference titles in program history in 2001 and 2002 under the direction of Todd Bailess. In that span, Awad’s defense played a major role in Barton going 33-9-2 against conference opposition and 47-23-3 over four years.

Blacutt, an All-American men’s tennis player under the direction of Tom Morris, graduated from Barton in 1993 as the program won three consecutive Carolinas Conference, the forerunner to Conference Carolinas, championships.

Copeland was at the head of Wendee Saintsing’s first Carolinas Conference championship women’s basketball team as a high-volume scorer from the outside, matriculating from Barton in 1991.

Eltom excelled under the direction of men’s soccer coach David Adkins, leading the Bulldogs to both Carolinas Conference and NAIA District 26 championships in men’s soccer in 1978 and 1979. Eltom, a 1980 graduate, was both Carolinas Conference and NAIA District 26 Player of the Year as a senior.

Pittman paced the Bulldogs to an NAIA District 29 title in men’s golf in 1974 and the Carolinas Conference title in 1975, earning medalist honors in both championships. Pittman’s ‘74 ACC team reached the NAIA national tournament.