The Nike Executive of the Year Award, formerly known as the Nike Administrator of the Year Award, is presented to Women Leaders in College Sports members for significant contributions made as a senior-level administrator of intercollegiate athletics. This award recognizes administrative excellence in each division [NCAA Division I, FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA/NJCAA/Community College and Conference/Organization]. The Executive of the Year Award in each division is presented in years which an individual is deserving of such recognition, typically annually.



NINA KING

Division I FBS Nike Executive of the Year
Vice President and Director of Athletics, Duke University


After 13 years on the department’s executive leadership team, Nina King was named Duke’s Vice President, Director of Athletics and Adjunct Professor of Business Administration on May 19, 2021. King succeeded Kevin M. White, who retired after 13 years in the post.
 
In 2021-22, King will serve as the Chair of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee for the second consecutive year. The 10-person group's charge, among many duties, is the selection, seeding, and bracketing for the annual NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. King also serves on several ACC and Duke University committees and previously was a member of the NCAA Committee on Institutional Performance.
 
In addition, King teaches a sports business course in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business as part of Duke’s MBA program. She also championed the creation and launch of the Rubenstein-Bing ACE program, a collaboration between Stanford and Duke for global civic engagement for student-athletes from both athletic departments.
 
In her former role within the Duke Athletics leadership group, King facilitated daily operation and oversight of the department, had oversight responsibilities for the Human Resource operation, Recreation and Physical Education program, and all legal matters, including the development and execution of department contracts while serving as the liaison to the University Legal Counsel Office. She led the senior staff/sport administrator group that is responsible for administration of Duke’s 27 varsity sports. In addition, she assisted with oversight and planning for special projects within the department, coordinated strategic planning initiatives and is the primary contact between Duke Athletics and the university administration, including the Board of Trustees, President’s office, and senior administration. She also handled the primary administrative duties for Duke’s women’s basketball and football programs.
 
In February of 2018, King was named to Sports Business Journal's Forty Under 40 Class of 2018. The annual list honors 40 executives for excellence and innovation in their respective careers, all before the age of 40. Later that year, she was tapped to the Leaders Under 40 Class of 2018, honoring sports business executives from around the world. In 2019, Sports Business Journal named King among the leading power players in college sports, while Adidas selected her to the "Next Up" class in 2016, which recognized senior-level administrators ready to take the next step as athletic directors.
 
Born October 3, 1978 in Tampa, Fla., King received her bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the University of Notre Dame in 2000 where she served as a student manager and eventually the head manager for the women's swimming and diving program, and her juris doctor degree from Tulane Law School in 2005. She served internships in the Notre Dame Athletics Department, NCAA and Nike, Inc.
 
Prior to joining Duke University, King served as the Director of Rules Education in the Notre Dame Athletics Department from 2005-08.
 
King is a member of Women Leaders in College Sports, Sports Lawyers Association, University of Notre Dame National Monogram Club and the Florida Bar Association. Additionally, King serves on the Arizona State University College of Law Sports Law and Business Program Advisory Board as well as the Durham Academy Board of Trustees.
 
King and her husband, Rick, reside in Durham and are the parents of Connor Stephan and Austin Casey. 




DIANTHIA FORD-KEE

Division I FCS Nike Executive of the Year
Director of Athletics, Mississippi Valley State University


Dianthia Ford-Kee is entering into her 8th season at the helm of Mississippi Valley State University’s Athletics program. She continues to enhance the student-athlete experience and raise the bar in the area of academic success, health and wellness for our student-athletes and building championship programs. In our academic pursuit of excellence, all sport teams continue to improve their overall grade point averages (GPA). In spite of a global pandemic, the student-athletes amassed an overall GPA of 3.15 with 163 student-athletes ranging from 3.0 - 4.0. MVSU ranked 2nd in the Southwestern Athletic Conference with the highest GPA of all our student-athletes. Because of these improvements, MVSU shared in the NCAA Academic Revenue Distribution for Fall 2020.

Ford-Kee has enhanced and improved the overall health and wellness for the student-athletes such as improving the student-athlete trainer ratio. The increased athletic training and medical staff has improved recovery time of student-athletes return to play for non-season ending injuries. Students-athletes are receiving programing to include mind, body and soul wellness.

Facility improvements continue to be a focal point under her leadership. Current facility improvements include renovations at the football practice facility and Rice-Totten Stadium, along with the “Touchdown 4 Turf” campaign to upgrade Charles “Chuck” Prophet field to a turf playing surface and resurfacing the track. She played a viable role in the final renovations for
the R.W. Harrison HPER Complex and the completion of the baseball, softball and soccer field renovations. Ford-Kee also coordinated the unveiling of the court naming in 2017 in recognizing the two winningest coaches in MVSU basketball history, Lafayette Stribling and Jessie Harris. She completed renovations within the Devil’s Den along with the renaming of the facility to the Archie Cooley’s Devil’s Den.

November 2020, MVSU became a Charter Member of The Black Collegiate Gaming Association (BCGA). Fall 2021, students attending MVSU will be introduced to the Esports gaming industry, be connected to potential internships, full-time career opportunities and more. Another Valley in Motion move to keep up with the trends in the collegiate athletics industry. 

MVSU was awarded the Women’s Sports Foundation - Tara VanDerveer Grant for the second straight season to hire an entry level female assistant women’s basketball coach. The Grant provides a stipend and professional development opportunities for the aspiring Fellow.

On June 13, 2016, Ford-Kee was recognized by the United States Congress as the Honorable Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi for her work as a director, leader and educator for her dedication to serving others and giving back to the African American Community.

Previously, Ford-Kee served over five years as the Director of Athletics at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania having successfully navigated Lincoln’s Athletic Department to active membership in NCAA Division II and return to the CIAA. Ford-Kee came to Lincoln from Shaw University where she spent 18 years working in athletic administration and coaching. Ford-Kee was named the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) - NCAA Division II Female Athletic Administrator of the Year in 2006 while serving as Shaw’s Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator.

Ford-Kee is a member of the CIAA John McClendon Hall of Fame (2016), Shaw University’s Athletic Hall of Fame (2016), and Fayetteville State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame 1997. The Black Women in Sports Foundation honored her for her accomplishments at Lincoln University-PA with the Legends Award for her work in athletics. She has received several honors in the state of North Carolina; she was a 1998 inductee in the Wake County Academy for Women for Athletics and a 1999 nominee of the Governor’s Distinguished Woman Award for Athletics. She has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success with her softball and volleyball programs. Her team members have won NCAA national statistical honors, CIAA Divisional Titles as well as NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. Her team won the CIAA Softball Championship four times (1993, 1994, 1996 and 2003) and the CIAA Volleyball Championship twice (1993 and 1995). A four-time softball Coach of the Year with two more in volleyball, Ford-Kee led Shaw to a volleyball conference record of 196-61 and an overall record of 247-158. Softball conference record of 121-37 and overall mark of 309-207. In November 2016, she was inducted in Shaw University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.

While competing in the sports of basketball and softball as a student-athlete at Fayetteville State University, she was a member of the 1979 CIAA Women’s Basketball Championship Team and the 1982 CIAA Softball Championship Team. Ford-Kee earned several All Conference and Tournament Team honors and was selected MVP of the 1982 Softball Championship Tournament. In 1982, she was selected as Fayetteville State University’s Athlete of the Year and was the youngest inductee into Fayetteville State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame (1997). Ford-Kee will be celebrated as an HBCU Living Legend on September 4, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina for her contributions in sports and higher education.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Fayetteville State University in 1982 and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from Northern Illinois University in 1984. A native of Lawrenceville, N.J., Ford-Kee was inducted into the inaugural class of Lawrence High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008 as the first athlete in the history of the high school to score over 1000 points playing only 3 years of high school basketball. She currently holds basketball records that have not been broken at Lawrence High School in almost 55 years of existence.

Ford-Kee is married to Preston G. Kee, Jr., and the mother of Brandon and Fannézha Ford and Iman Kee.



JAUNELLE HAMILTON WHITE

Division I Nike Executive of the Year
Senior Associate Athletic Director/SWA, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


Jaunelle White joined the IUPUI Athletics Department in May 2018 as Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Internal Operations and Senior Woman Administrator. White comes to IUPUI having served similar posts at Alabama State and Texas Southern prior to joining the Jaguars' staff.

White's focus will be on internal operations while evaluating the department's efficiency and effectiveness in terms of student-athlete experience, budget maximization and internal processes. She'll serve as the primary administrator for the men's and women's soccer, volleyball and softball programs, while also overseeing the department's athletic training staff. In addition, she'll assist in donor cultivation.

She currently sits on the NCAA D1 Council and Student-Athlete Experience and D1 Degree Completion Award Committees. She's also part of the IUPUI Chancellor's Diversity Cabinet and Office for Women Advisory Council.

At Alabama State, White served as Senior Associate AD for Internal Operations and oversaw the department's compliance, business, sports medicine, strength and conditioning program and 16 varsity sports. Under her guidance, ASU increased its APR scores to exceed NCAA minimum requirements while she served on the SWAC Strategic Planning Committee, SWAC APR Committee and NCAA Division I Initial Eligibility Waiver Committee.

While at Texas Southern, she revamped the compliance program and assisted in implementing protocols to elevate APR scores. She was an integral part of TSU's Curriculum Council and Financial Aid Compliance Committee while also serving on the SWAC APR Committee.

White began her administrative career at LSU and has also worked at Middle Tennessee State and South Alabama.

White began at LSU in June 2002 as Compliance Coordinator, and after two years she was promoted to Coordinator for Compliance, Championships and Special Events. In Baton Rouge, she handled all issues with the NCAA Clearinghouse and assisted with financial aid and housing for student-athletes, while in her final year at the school she helped the Tigers host NCAA regional events in women's basketball, men's tennis, track & field and gymnastics.

White spent two years at MTSU, beginning as the compliance coordinator before being promoted to Assistant AD. She oversaw the Lady Raider soccer and softball programs and was involved in all aspects of compliance, approving official visits and monitoring practices and recruiting contacts and evaluation logs.

She was a standout volleyball student-athlete at Auburn, earning four All-SEC honors and an NCAA Freshman All-American award. She was awarded the Leah Rawls Atkins Award as a senior, which is the highest award given to an Auburn female student-athlete. She earned her degree in 2000 and later earned her master's degree from Auburn in 2002.

White is a Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., member, along with affiliations among Women Leaders in College Sports, Alliance of Women Coaches, Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) and NACDA.

In addition to her playing and administrative experience, White has always been surrounded by Division I athletics as her father was a head coach and her husband Marcus is a football coach. She and Marcus have four children - MaKiah, Jailyn, Layla and Marcus.




COURTNEY LOVELY EVANS

Division II Nike Executive of the Year
Director of Athletics, Palm Beach Atlantic University


Courtney Lovely Evans was named Palm Beach Atlantic University’s (PBA) Director of Athletics in April 2019. She is the first minority to serve in the role and is the third athletic director during PBA’s NCAA era.

Lovely Evans is actively involved within the NCAA governance structure. She currently serves on the NCAA Division II Management Council as the Vice Chair and as the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) representative, NCAA Division II Administrative Committee, NCAA Division II Planning and Finance Committee and NCAA Division II Championships Committee.

Lovely Evans also serves on the boards of the College Women Sports Awards (CWSA) and the YMCA of the Palm Beaches. She is an active member of Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA), Division II Athletic Directors Association and a graduate of the NCAA and Division II Athletic Directors Association Women and Minorities Mentoring Program, Women Leaders in College Sports/NCAA Institute for Administrative Advancement and NCAA Leadership Institute.

In 2020-2021, the Sailfish successfully competed in all 18 varsity sports programs during the global pandemic. The women’s basketball team competed in the SSC Tournament for the first time in program history and advanced to the championship game where they finished as the tournament runners-up. The Rinker Athletic Campus provided a championship experience for the first time, hosting the SSC Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championship where the Sailfish women had their best finish in program history by taking second place. In addition, the Sailfish golf teams each had an individual place in the top-10 of the SSC Championship. In all PBA brought home 20 All-SSC individual awards.

Year one was highlighted by facility renovations to the Rubin Arena. Other Sailfish accomplishments include:

  • A cumulative GPA of 3.25 for all 18 varsity programs; Expanded partnership with AdPro Sports and Nike
  • The inaugural season of Beach Volleyball
  • Men’s Soccer advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament
  • Men’s Basketball earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament (the first in program history)
  • Serving as the host institution for an NCAA Division II Showcase game
  • Receiving the NCAA Division II Ethnic Minority and Women’s Internship Grant
  • Seven (7) PBA staffers serving on NCAA national committees.

Lovely Evans joined the PBA Athletics Department in August 2015 as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations and Senior Woman Administrator (SWA). In that role, she oversaw gender equity and Title IX issues. She was also responsible for all mandatory reporting to both the NCAA and the Sunshine State Conference. In addition, she oversaw athletic training, strength and conditioning, human resources and business operations while also serving as a sport administrator for women’s basketball, women’s lacrosse, women’s soccer, softball and tennis. Lovely Evans has a diverse background within intercollegiate athletics administration and most recently worked at the NCAA National Office. As an Assistant Director in Academic and Membership Affairs, she was responsible for developing the Division II educational strategic plan, serving as a liaison to the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Division II Legislation Committee and the Division II Membership Committee. As an Assistant Director in Leadership Development, she was the primary administrator for the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum, NCAA Career in Sports Forum and NCAA Division II and III diversity grants.

Before working at the NCAA Lovely Evans served as the Assistant to the Director of Athletics at Georgia State University in Atlanta. In this position she was a member of the athletic department’s senior staff and was responsible for managing the Georgia State University Athletic Association and the planning and coordination of athletics’ special events including activities with the University’s inaugural football season.

Prior to her experiences at Georgia State, Lovely Evans worked in the not-for-profit sector as an event planner.

She received her master’s degree in sports administration from Georgia State University and her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia.

Lovely Evans is married to Rick Evans. The couple has a daughter, Kyra, a sophomore at the University of Kentucky.




NAN CARNEY-DeBORD

Division III Nike Executive of the Year
Associate Vice President of Athletics and Recreation, Denison University


In ten years as the Denison of Athletics at Denison University, Carney-DeBord has made a definitive impact on the campus community with her brand of competitive excellence. She returned to her alma mater in 2011 as the Director of Athletics and faculty chair of the Health, Exercise and Sport Studies major and was promoted to Associate Vice President in 2016. Denison athletics’ foundation of competitive excellence is based on the values of trust, teamwork, integrity, leadership, growth mindset and diversity.

Athletics teams at Denison consistently perform at the conference and national levels. In 2018, Denison was one of only 10 colleges nationally — and the only college in the Midwest — that is recognized in the top 50 of both the U.S. News and World Report National Liberal Arts rankings and the Learfield Director’s Cup D-III standings. Under her direction, Denison has won the North Coast Athletic Conference All-Sports Championship five times in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2019. Since her arrival in the fall of 2011, Denison has won 32 NCAC Championships, four Division III national championships and the college has completed its $38 million renovations and expansion to the Mitchell Center.

In 2019, Carney-DeBord was named the Under Armour Division III Athletics Director of the Year by the National Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and was honored at the organization's annual convention in Orlando, Florida.

In addition to her role as Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics, Carney-DeBord is a faculty member and chair of the Health, Exercise and Sport Studies (HESS) major, for which she provides vision and leadership. In the HESS major, students frame the sciences of health, exercise, and sports within the liberal arts, providing a larger context to understand the whole person. Carney-DeBord’s vision has led HESS into one of the fastest growing majors on campus.

The athletic department has also grown considerably under Carney-DeBord, with assistant coaching positions and full-time faculty coaching positions added to numerous sports since 2011. Carney-DeBord ushered in the creation of the James T. Glerum Top-50 Honors Celebration in 2012 and since that time Denison has recognized the top-50 student-athletes in terms of grade point average along with a faculty member of their choosing. One of the highlights of each academic year, the cut-off point to be included in the 2018 Top-50 was a 3.65 GPA. Prior to accepting the post to guide Denison's athletic department, Carney-DeBord was one of the winningest coaches in Division III women's basketball history, posting a career record of 433-227 while guiding Ohio Wesleyan to six NCAA Division III Tournament berths. The Battling Bishops captured five NCAC championships and she was a seven-time conference Coach of the Year. In 2001, she guided her team to the national semifinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament and was named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Division III National Coach of the Year.

In 2009, Carney-DeBord became only the 33rd coach in Division III history to reach the 400-win mark. In addition to her time as the head women's basketball coach at Ohio Wesleyan, she spent six seasons (1985-1990) as the head field hockey coach at OWU where her teams posted a .714 winning percentage and began a streak of seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances that would eventually conclude in 1993. At Ohio Wesleyan, she also served as assistant athletics director from 1987 to 1993 and associate athletics director from 1993 through 2003.

Carney-DeBord was a four-year letter winner in basketball and field hockey at Denison. A wing and point guard in basketball, she was a team captain and was named the team's Most Valuable Player as a senior. As a back on the Denison field hockey squad, she was a three-year captain and helped lead the 1979 team to a 12-3-1 record. In 1998, she was inducted in the Varsity D Association Athletics Hall of Fame at Denison. In addition to her bachelor's degree in physical education from Denison, Carney-DeBord earned a master's of arts in athletics administration from Kent State University.

Carney-DeBord and her husband, Jack, reside in Granville and have two sons, Tyler and T.J.




LOUISE McCLEARY

Conference/Organization Nike Executive of the Year
Interim Vice President of Division III, NCAA


Louise McCleary joined the NCAA national office as the director of Division III in February 2012. In 2017, she was promoted to Managing Director and in 2021, she became the interim Vice President. She oversees the division’s governance committee structure (particularly the Presidents and Management Councils), develops and implements the division’s strategic plan and manages the division’s operating budget, among other assignments.

A 20‐year veteran in athletics administration, including 15 years at Division III institutions, McCleary was Director of Athletics at Elms College for 10 years (2002‐12). During her tenure, she guided 15 intercollegiate programs, added 11 full‐time coaches, and oversaw a $1.7 million field‐improvement project. McCleary also implemented programs that improved student‐athlete academic performance, boosting graduation rates above those of the student body.

Prior to Elms College, McCleary was at Vassar College (1997-2002), first as an associate athletics director and then as interim director of athletics her final year. She worked at Tri-State University (Ind.) from 1991 to 1997, serving as an assistant basketball coach, sports information director and assistant director of athletics.

McCleary has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and American studies from Wellesley College and a master’s in sport management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.




NATASHA WILSON

NAIA/NJCAA/CC Nike Executive of the Year
Vice President for Student Life & Athletic Director, Central Methodist University


Natasha Wilson was named the Vice President for Student Life and Athletics at Central Methodist University in May 2019, before officially beginning her duties in July 2019. In her role, she provides leadership and guidance for the development and implementation of high-quality, student-centered approaches that support student success in non-academic dimensions of the university experience. She oversees the office of student development and the athletics department, which now includes 17 intercollegiate sports.

Previously, she served for six years as the Associate Athletic Director/Compliance Coordinator and Senior Woman Administrator for Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C. In this role, Wilson oversaw all day-to-day compliance-related tasks along with providing interpretation and education of NCAA D-II legislation for all campus constituents. In addition to compliance responsibilities, Wilson also served as a sports administrator for bowling, women’s basketball, cheerleading, men’s & women‘s cross country/track and field, and men’s & women’s tennis. She played an essential role in managing internal and external operations for the overall athletic department. During her tenure as sports supervisor, both the Women’s Basketball and Women’s Track and Field teams won conference championships and the Women’s Tennis team competed in the CIAA Championship two years in a row. In 2018, she represented the institution as Co-Meet Director while hosting the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University. She served as the Southern Vice President on the CIAA Management Council. Wilson had previously served as President of the CIAA Compliance Director’s Association and Vice President of the CIAA Senior Woman Administrator Association. She was a member of the NCAA Division II Membership Committee. 

Prior to JCSU, Wilson worked for six years at fellow Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) institution, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. She began as the Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance and the department’s Senior Woman Administrator in 2006. Wilson was elevated to the role of Associate Athletic Director in 2010. While at Lincoln (Pa.), Wilson served as a sports administrator for bowling, women’s tennis, men’s tennis, women’s soccer, baseball, softball, and cheerleading. She was instrumental in revamping the compliance policies and procedures as well as successfully transitioning the athletic department from NCAA Division III to Division II. Wilson helped to develop a Gender Equity Plan for the department as well as the creation of a five-year strategic plan. During her tenure at Lincoln (Pa.), she established the first-ever Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and launched the NCAA CHAMPS/ Life Skills program for athletics.

Most recently, she was nominated to serve as a member of the NAIA’s National Coordinating Committee and the Conference Commissioners Association Committee on Respect, Inclusivity, Support, & Education (CCA R.I.S.E.) Wilson is also an active member of the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA), Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA), and Women Leaders in College Sports.
Wilson earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sports Management from Winston-Salem State University in 2005 and earned a Master of Arts in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University Irvine in February 2019.

AWARDS/HONORS:
  • Dr. Charles Whitcomb NCAA Leadership Institute Graduate, Class of 2019
  • JCSU Lonnie T. Parker Servant Leadership Award, 2018
  • JCSU Rising Star Award for proposal development, 2017-2018
  • CIAA Senior Woman Administrator of the Year 2016
  • CIAA Senior Woman Administrator of the Year 2014
  • NACWAA Hers Graduate, Class of 2009



KIKI BAKER BARNES, PhD

Nell Jackson Nike Executive of the Year
Director of Athletics and Commissioner, Dillard University/Gulf Coast Athletic Conference


Dr. Kiki Baker Barnes has distinguished herself as an outstanding professional, community servant and mentor. She assumed the leadership role, athletic director, in Dillard’s athletic department in 2006. She simultaneously held the position of head coach of the women’s basketball team until March 2013. Her initial responsibility was to facilitate the return of the athletics program after it was shuttered following Hurricane Katrina. She has not only resurrected the program, but she has also grown the program into a national model of student-athlete success and community service. Since taking the helm, Dillard’s athletic program has seen the establishment of new sports teams and the university's first endowed athletic scholarship.

A leader in sports administration, she also serves as Interim Commissioner for the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). This is not her first stint with the GCAC as she was elected and served as President of the GCAC from 2009-2018, directing its growth after several universities departed for other conferences. Dr. Barnes has become a national expert in strategic planning, organizational management and program revitalization leading her to serve on national and local boards.. She is President/CEO of Kiki Baker Barnes, LLC a coaching and speaking business focused on helping college athletic programs and administrators improve their operational efficiency, productivity and organizational management through strategic planning and leadership development. She is also the founder of So You Want A Career in Athletics™ a professional leadership development program professional leadership development program designed to expose girls and young professional women to career opportunities in sport.

A trailblazer as well, Dr. Barnes is the only intercollegiate athletic director in the state of Louisiana and was the first female and first African-American president of the GCAC and first African-American female commissioner in the NAIA. On June 11, 2019, Dr. Barnes was awarded the industry's highest award, the Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award. In 2015, Dr. Barnes received the prestigious "Administrator of the Year Award" presented by the Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly known as National Association of College Women Athletic Administrators - NACWAA). In 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2021 her peers voted her GCAC Athletic Director of the Year. In 2018, she was honored during Black History Month by the New Orleans Pelicans and named to the 2018 Class of New Orleans CityBusiness Woman of the Year, 2014 Class of New Orleans “People to Watch” and was honored by the Girls Scouts of Louisiana Southeast as a 2014 Woman of Distinction. Dr. Barnes also received the Gambit’s Top 40 under 40 of New Orleanians making a difference in the community in 2013. Barnes completed her dissertation research on the relationship between coach’s influence, student engagement, and student-athlete success. She is married to Dr. Marc Barnes and they have two children, Caitlin and Marc Jr.

Positions Held:

  • Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Board Member (2016-current)
  • Interim Commissioner Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (2019 - current)
  • Minorities Opportunities Athletic Association Board of Directors (2018- 2020)
  • NAIA Athletic Directors Association Board of Directors President (2019- 2020)
  • NAIA Athletic Directors Association Board of Directors 1st Vice President (2018- 2019)
  • NAIA Athletic Directors Association Board of Directors 2nd Vice President (2017- 2018)
  • NAIA Athletic Directors Association Board of Directors (2014-2020)
  • NAIA Conduct and Ethics Committee Chair (2014-2019)
  • Gulf Coast Athletic Conference 17th President (2009-2018)
  • NAIA National Administrative Council Member (2007-2013; 2018-2020)
  • NAIA National Administrative Council Rules, Awards and Statistics Committee Member (2018-2020)
  • NAIA National Administrative Council Experience and Enhancement Committee Member (2007-2013)
  • NAIA Committee on Conduct in Competition Member (2006-2011)
  • BCA Member-at-large Board of Directors Strategic Planning Committee (2011-2013)
  • NCAA 2013 Women's Basketball Final Four Local Organizing Committee (2013)
  • Chevron Champions of Women Mentorship Program (in conjunction with NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four 2013), Committee Chair NACDA Female Mentor (2009)
  • Martin Luther King Commission Committee - Chair, Education & Information Subcommittee (2009)


Awards and Honors:

  • 2019 NACDA Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award
  • 2018 New Orleans City Business Woman of the Year
  • 2018 New Orleans Pelicans Black History Month Honoree
  • 2017 American Cancer Society Belle
  • 2015 Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly known as NACWAA) Administrator of the Year
  • 2014 Girl Scout Woman of Distinction Honoree
  • Named to New Orleans Magazine People to Watch Class of 2014
  • GCAC Athletic Director of the Year 2014-2015
  • GCAC Athletic Director of the Year 2013-2014
  • Selected to the Gambit's Top 40 under 40 New Orleanians making a positive impact on their community
  • GCAC Athletic Director of the Year 2010-2011
  • Named 1 of 6 Women of Empowerment by New Orleans Minority Report, 2012-2013