It’s not common for someone who grew up playing sports to still be a part of the school atmosphere after they are done pursuing their studies.
There are a few ways to accomplish this.
One is to become a coach and a part of the everyday activities of a school sports team. The other is to become athletic director and oversee everything that goes on in varsity and campus sports.
Scott Barker chose the latter and has been the athletic director at Ontario Tech University since 2012. It was the right decision for him.
Barker wanted an opportunity to jump into the role of athletic director after he was done his studies at Brock University, where he did a B.A. in Leisure Sciences.
“Growing up, I’ve always loved sports. When I went to university, I loved the environment that athletics provided,” he says. “When I graduated from Brock, I felt that I wanted to continue to be in this environment.”
He got his first job at Ontario Tech in the recruitment and admissions offices when it opened in 2002 then built rapport with the previous athletic director, Ken Babcock, and eventually moved up to fill the position of athletic co-ordinator.
After a few more years in that position, Barker made his final jump in 2014, moving up into the position of athletic director at Ontario Tech. He took over that position from Ken Babcock, who is the current athletic director at Durham College.
“The university grew and in order to do it properly, it was the perfect opportunity for Scott to take over the lead at the university,” Ken Babcock says.
What makes Barker so enthusiastic about being the athletic director at Ontario Tech is the familiarity with sports he has had over the years. He grew up playing basketball, golf and hockey. During his time in university, he played intramural sports.
The atmosphere is his favourite part about the job. He enjoys seeing students who are proud being a part of the Ridgebacks Nation and supporting their school teams at every home game.
“I loved the university environment,” he says. “I loved the student experience.”
When it comes to spending time outside of work, Barker loves going to the cottage with his family and attending his boys’ soccer games.
Barker’s favourite sport is hockey. He enjoys soccer as well because his kids play it and seeing them play has grown his love for the game. Lastly, he is a big fan of golf, even though he doesn’t play as much.
He loves the outdoors, whether it’s time at the cottage or mountain biking. Enjoying his free time outside is why one of his favourite spots is the trail we have on campus. He also enjoys sitting down on the brand-new chairs by Polonsky Commons.
As the athletic director of Ontario Tech, Scott Barker describes himself as the biggest fan of every varsity team on campus. He enjoys watching games whenever he gets the chance.
Barker says he has a great team of staff who work tirelessly to support the student athletes and coaches.
“The interaction is important,” says Barker. “You need to make sure the teams and the coaches are provided with the tools and opportunities for them to be successful.”
Babcock says Barker has been a tremendous part of what the university has accomplished. “I’m pretty proud of that,” says Babcock, “and proud of him.”