If education is king then Mexico grad Scott Barker must be some kind of royalty now that he's taken a passion for athletics and his college degree and parlayed them into becoming the Sports Information Director for the American Midwest Conference earlier this week.
"I cover all media and communication pieces for the American Midwest Conference, create graphics for AMC Games of the Week for each team sport and help with All-Conference selections," said Barker on Wednesday, his first day on the job. "I also oversee the 13 member schools’ Sports Information Director to make sure film, stats, etc. are correct and uploaded before the deadline, help run our conference tournament and keep the website up-to-date."
The only other duty under Barker's purview is the role he plays with the Association of Student Athletes. This includes monthly meetings with athletes from all 13-member schools regarding possible methods to improve specific outings.
"Growing up, I knew that I wanted to work in the sports/athletics industry. I just did not know what path I wanted to pursue," said Barker. "My first semester at William Woods, I was a work study who worked all the athletic events, running the camera, scoreboard, shot clock, etc. That position eventually evolved into an internship, where I was trusted with stats, PA, recaps, previews, etc. After my first year as an intern, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a Sports Information Director."
As for his greatest professional influences, Barker is thankful for all the generosity he received from former William Woods Athletic Director Ben Mizera. Current Owls A.D. Jason Vittone was incredibly giving regarding these efforts, as well.
"For the last nine months I was the Sports Information Director for the University of Mobile in Mobile, Ala.," Barker said. "Before that, I spent a year as an Intern for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Office in Kansas City, Mo and the three years before that I spent interning for William Woods in the Sports Information Department."
In his time at Mexico Barker played two years of soccer, three years of track and field and one season of baseball. Highlights featured qualifying for the state meet in 2008 in the 4x800 relay, where he and his teammates finished 10th, and in 2010 he was the North Central Missouri Conference and district champion in the 800 run. Barker also played basketball for four years and ran cross country for two seasons and was all-NCMC and All-District in 2008 and 2009.
"I have always been passionate about sports. I have played athletics all my life and I couldn’t imagine a life without sports," Barker said. "I love what I do. I love everything about it. I mean, I get to work with sports 24/7. What could be better.”
The teams that compete in the AMC are Missouri Baptist, Columbia College, Lyon, Harris-Stowe, William Woods, Central Baptist, Lindenood-Belleville, Freed-Hardman, Park, Williams Baptist and Hannibal-LaGrange.
There is one final addendum to Barker's story, though. Specifically, he spent his freshman year of college at Webster University in St. Louis as a member of the cross country and track and field teams.