Karrs to succeed Benton as SID at Barton College

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Benny Benton, who has been the sports information director at Barton College for the past five years, has stepped down and John Karrs, the longtime SID at Lenoir-Rhyne University, will be his successor, Barton announced Wednesday.

Benton, who joined Barton as the assistant SID in August 2013 and became Bulldogs SID in January 2015, is leaving to pursue other career opportunities, Barton athletic director Todd Wilkinson said.

“Benny Benton has been a loyal and dedicated employee to Barton College and a true professional,” Wilkinson said in a release by the college. “He knows the sports information business and is a tremendous writer. I am going to miss Benny as a friend and colleague and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”

Benton worked as the SID at Mount Olive and on the news services staff at N.C. State University before coming to Barton. He has served as the tournament staff of the NCAA Division II Baseball National Finals and on the Div. Men’s Tennis Southeast Regional Advisory Committee. A graduate of Clemson, Benton worked for eight years at the Florence (South Carolina) Morning News before moving to Mount Olive in 1997.

Benton’s tenure at Barton saw the addition of five new sports, including football, which will begin play in 2020.

Karrs comes to Barton after 16 years as the SID at Lenoir-Rhyne, from which he graduated in 1999. A Hickory native, Karrs oversaw sports information for all 22 intercollegiate sports and was the media coordinator for NCAA regional and national championships in men’s and women’s golf, football, women’s basketball, men’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s soccer. Karrs spent two years at the University of Oklahoma as an athletic media relations intern before returning to Lenoir-Rhyne.

“Barton is very fortunate to hire John Karrs in the role of Director of Athletic Communications,” said Wilkinson. “John has a wealth of experience in NCAA Division II athletics. His previous experience with D2 football will be a tremendous asset to Barton as we implement the sport. I am looking forward to working with John as he came highly recommended as an outstanding professional and colleague.”

Douglas Page will continue his duties as new media coordinator for the Barton athletics department.