Richfield High School’s Assistant Principal and Athletic Director, Richard Barton, was selected by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association to receive one of the organization’s top awards for 2019 – NIAAA Frank Kovaleski Professional Development Award.
The Frank Kovaleski Professional Development Award is presented to an NIAAA member who has contributed to the vision of professional development through such areas as leadership, instruction, writing, presenting and service. The recipient has made significant contributions in these areas and demonstrated excellence at the local, state and national levels. The board selects the recipient from among the eight section nominees each year.
Barton received the award during a banquet at the 50th annual National Athletic Directors Conference conducted jointly by the National Federation of State High School Associations and the NIAAA in National Harbor, Maryland, Dec. 17.
“Rich’s guidance and wisdom will continue to strengthen the NIAAA’s mission for years to come. His contributions to the profession of athletic directors is immense and will resonate for years to come,” said former NIAAA President Jeff Sitz. “He has served with a heart of a servant leader and we are indebted to him for his time, talents and contributions. He is one who exemplifies the best of the NIAAA leadership through service to grow the profession.”
Barton has completed 39 Leadership Training Courses in his career and is the author and national course chair of LTC 706 – Coaching Coaches to be Leadership Educators. He also sits on the national faculty and has taught numerous courses at state and national conferences.
Barton’s service at the national level also includes a term on the NIAAA Board of Directors culminating in a year as NIAAA President of the 13,000 members association in 2017. Prior to his time on the board, Barton was vice chair of the NIAAA Awards Committee from 2012 to 2015. He earned his Certified Athletic Administrator certification in 2003 and became the third athletic administrator in Utah to earn the Certified Master Athletic Administrator designation in 2008. Barton served as Utah’s representative to the NIAAA Delegate Assembly from 2006 to 2012.
At the state level, Barton served a year as president of the Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association in 2008-09 and has been on the UIAAA Executive Board since 2007. Since 2011, he has served as the state’s certification coordinator and worked with Utah High School Activities Association to require certification of all Utah athletic administrators.
Barton has also worked on two NIAAA Strategic Plan committees as chair of the Operations Committee in 2019 and three UIAAA Strategic Plans. In addition, he served as general chair of the UIAAA Strategic Plan and has assisted with two other strategic plans.
After eight years as basketball coach at RHS, Barton has served as the school’s athletic director and assistant principal since 1996. Barton accumulated a record of 106-64 as a basketball coach, and led Richfield to a regional championship in four of his eight seasons. He was named Class 3A Coach of the Year in 1996.
Barton was an all-state basketball player at Cedar High School and was the second all-time leading scorer at Southern Utah University, as well as top 10 in rebounds, assists and blocks. In his senior season, Barton was among the top Division I scorers (20 points per game), and he was named Academic All-American and Southern Utah Athlete of the Year and received a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division One Postgraduate Scholarship. He was inducted into the SUU’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014 and SUU Coaching Factory Hall of Fame in 2017 giving him the distinction of being one of the few alumni to be inducted into both Halls of Fame.
Among his honors, Barton has received the National Federation of High Schools Citation, the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award, NIAAA State Award of Merit, as well as the Utah High School Activities Association and UIAAA Athletic Director of the Year honors.