Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics
Buccaneer Field House
P843-863-7678 / Ejbarber@csuniv.edu
Charleston Southern University introduced Jeff Barber as the school’s third Athletic Director in school history on May 17, 2018. During his CSU tenure, he has led the Buccaneers to new levels of departmental success and has since been elevated into a Vice President role while continuing to serve as the Athletics Director.
Under Barber’s leadership, Charleston Southern has achieved back-to-back third place finishes in the Big South Conference’s prestigious Sasser Cup standings, the league’s annual award given to the member institution with the most successful year athletically. The consecutive top-3 placings marked CSU’s highest Sasser Cup finishes in school history since the 1999-2000 season. Additionally, 2022-2023 saw the Buccaneer men collectively finish in second place, their best-ever finish since the league began presenting separate gender awards in 2003-04.
During the same timeframe, the athletic department has also seen the best years in the classroom, as CSU has now broken its overall departmental GPA in consecutive years with the Bucs most recently boasting a 3.23 in 2022-23.
Since Barber’s arrival on campus, the Buccaneers have claimed seven conference tournament championships. In both men’s cross country and women’s tennis, the teams have achieved unparalleled success, claiming the titles in each for three consecutive seasons.
Barber strives to improve all areas of athletics by doing the “little things” that he sees as doable and essential for future success. Over his six years at Charleston Southern, he has overseen nearly 700 “little things” completed ranging from a turf installation at Buccaneer Field, to new carpet in the offices, to new departmental policies and staff positions.
One of his most eye-catching changes was helping to develop the new athletics “Bucky” logo released in April 2019. Barber assisted with bringing on several former Disney animation executives that helped create the logo initially as an alternative. In the summer of 2021, Barber then announced the fresh logo would become the “primary” replacing the crossed cutlasses logo.
Away from the courts and fields, Barber has been crucial in landing multiple partnerships with organizations to help the department in recent years. In the spring of 2022, the Bucs’ partnership with Graduway have allowed donors to financially support individual sport programs as well as the whole department. In the summer of 2022, a partnership with Roger’s St. Francis Healthcare started with the Buccaneers receiving coverage for emergency services at home athletics events as well as proper coverage of athletic trainers for all sports. During the summer of 2023, partnerships with Peak Sports MGMT for marketing and branding was announced with one for RealResponse followed shortly after to enhance the student-athlete experience at Charleston Southern.
Barber came to CSU with 29 years of total Division I college athletic experience, most recently at former Big South Conference institution, Liberty (2006-2016). Prior to Liberty, he spent 10 years at the University of South Carolina, including his last three years as Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development/Gamecock Club Executive Director. He also worked for four years apiece in both the Furman and East Carolina athletic departments.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Dr. Hunter, Dr. Costin, and Vice President Luke Blackmon for their belief and confidence in me to lead our athletics department at this important time in history,” Barber said. “Throughout the interview process, it became very clear that this University is poised for tremendous growth and success over the next ten years. To have an opportunity to be a part; that is overwhelming and I feel extremely humbled and blessed to be a part of the Charleston Southern family.”
Among Barber’s primary responsibilities at Charleston Southern include providing strategic leadership, direction, and oversight of the administrative areas of the Athletic Department, as well as all 16 NCAA collegiate programs. He also oversees and engages in the development of a Christian culture in all areas of the department. He is a member of the University’s Senior Leadership staff. Barber advocates on behalf of the Athletic Department and University with the Big South Conference and the NCAA.
During his tenure at Liberty, Barber was instrumental in leading the Flames to the next level of collegiate athletics as they became one of the top programs in the Big South as they collected six consecutive Sassar Cups from 2007-2013. His efforts were recognized in June 2012 when he was named the NACDA FCS Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year for the Southeast region.
Barber spurred a record-setting increase in Flames Club memberships, giving and season ticket sales for football and basketball. During the last 10 years, the Flames Club experienced tremendous growth and collected nearly $10 million in total contributions. Flames Club membership hit the 1,000 mark in 2015, a nearly 10-fold growth during Barber’s time at Liberty.
Barber spearheaded new construction efforts for five different facility projects while with the school. These included baseball (Liberty Baseball Stadium), softball (Kamphuis Field at Liberty Softball Stadium), field hockey and lacrosse (Liberty Field Hockey and Lacrosse Fields and East Campus Field House), men’s and women’s soccer (Luurtsema Center) and men’s golf (Clarkson Club and driving range).
Liberty’s athletic programs continued to soar to new heights on the field of competition throughout Barber’s tenure. Over his 11-year span, Liberty won 83 conference titles, including seven Big South football championships, and earned NCAA Tournament berths in baseball, field hockey, football, men’s basketball, men’s golf, men’s soccer, softball, volleyball, women’s basketball and women’s soccer. Additionally, Liberty student-athletes won five individual NCAA Division I national championships during Barber’s time on Liberty Mountain.
Barber’s academic backing also paid huge dividends for Liberty’s student-athletes. In 2011, Liberty became the 14th school in the country to receive national academic certification from the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A).
Barber graduated cum laude at East Carolina in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. In 1997, he continued his education with a degree from the Sports Management Institute, graduating as class spokesman.
A native of Greenville, N.C., Barber and his wife Donna have three children: Katie, Lindsay, and Jay.