N.C. Wesleyan names new athletics director
From Contributed Reports
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
N.C. Wesleyan College announced Tuesday that Aaron Denton has been named the Battling Bishops' next Vice President and Director of Athletics. Denton has spent the last 10 years as the Athletics Director for Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst. He is set to take over May 15th, replacing long-time director John Thompson, who announced he was stepping down February 8th after 20 years of service in the role.
"I am excited to begin my work with student-athletes, coaches, faculty, staff, and the entire Wesleyan community. The college's recent record growth provides both enthusiasm and opportunity," Denton said. "It is an honor to join those efforts to serve and lead a committed group of staff and students. Together we can achieve academic and athletic excellence while providing the best experience for our student-athletes."
Denton arrived in Pinehurst in 2008 to serve as Sandhill's first athletics director. Under his leadership, the school started the athletic program with men's basketball, women's volleyball, and men's golf. Over the next ten years, Denton added five more sports, including women's golf, men's and women's cross country, and men's and women's track and field. During his tenure, Sandhills won two NJCAA National Championships, as well as numerous regional and national student-athlete and coaching awards.
"Wesleyan has a history of great ADs with Moe Bauer, Don Scalf, John McCarthy, Mike Fox, and John Thompson. As a former college athlete, coach, professor, and director, Aaron should fall in line as the next great," said NCWC President Dr. Dewey Clark. "He understands that academic success and athletic success go hand in hand. I believe he will take Wesleyan's athletics programs to the next level."
Denton earned his Bachelor of Science degree in management at Guilford College where he played varsity basketball, football, and lacrosse. Upon graduation, he remained with Guilford as assistant football and basketball coach before moving across town as assistant men's basketball coach at UNCG. While there, Denton earned his Master's degree in Business Administration. He later had coaching stints at Southern Guilford High School (Head Coach), Miami-Dade College (Assistant Coach), and Louisburg College (Head Coach) prior to joining Sandhills.
Wesleyan is a member of NCAA Division III and USA South Athletic Conference. As Director of Athletics, Denton will oversee a comprehensive program that includes 14 varsity teams: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, football, men's golf, women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, and volleyball.
Wesleyan has a long and rich history of athletic success, including two national championships in baseball, numerous conference championships, more than 70 All-Americans, and a record nine straight USA South regular season and tournament titles. More than half of the students on campus participate in sports at Wesleyan, where athletics play an important role in a well-rounded liberal arts education. Last season, 136 student-athletes earned USA South Academic All-Conference honors, while the women's soccer and volleyball teams secured their second straight national team academic awards. Additionally, a number of Bishops have won Academic All-Region awards.
"Wesleyan has a tremendous reputation not only on the court or field but in the classroom," Denton noted. "I look forward to helping continue that tradition that Coach Thompson fostered during his tenure."
Denton and his wife, Ami, along with their two children, will relocate to Rocky Mount.