by Benny Benton
WILSON, N.C. – Two members of the athletics staff at Barton College, Andrea Roca and Joel Zimmerman, have earned job promotions, Director of Athletics Todd Wilkinson announced Tuesday.
Roca has been promoted to assistant athletic director of compliance, while Zimmerman has been named associate head coach for the men’s basketball program. Both changes are effective immediately.
A 2015 Barton graduate and former student-athlete in the BC cross country and track programs, Roca returned to campus as graduate assistant of compliance and athletics operations coordinator in July of 2016, and became compliance coordinator in June of 2017.
While serving in this role, Roca also completed a master’s in business administration at Barton, graduating this past May.
“In 2017-18, Andrea balanced working on her MBA, administrating athletics compliance, coordinating and scheduling all athletics transportation needs, and managing a variety of other duties outside of her job description,” Wilkinson said. “Others on campus see her talents as well, which is reflected in her placement on several institutional search committees, her certification as a Title IX investigator, and her recruitment to serve as a First-Year Seminar instructor in the upcoming academic year. Andrea will also take on the role of advisor for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee beginning this academic year.
“Andrea is very important to me as a colleague and to our department in numerous areas. She is the department’s glue. Earlier this summer, I told Andrea I was going to promote her to director of compliance because I felt that coordinator fell far short of what she contributed daily. In the last three months, her contributions have far exceeded even a director role within the athletics department, so I am pleased to announce that she will be promoted to assistant athletic director of compliance.”
Before joining the Barton staff, Roca served a one-year internship as a conference officer with Conference Carolinas in 2015-16. In her role, she was heavily involved with the league's compliance monitoring efforts, and also assisted with its sports marketing, athletic communications and championship administration functions.
“I truly appreciate the support Athletic Director Wilkinson has shown for me as I continue to grow with the department and college,” Roca said. “I am honored to be entrusted with this new leadership role within the athletic department. I am committed to serving the needs of our coaches, staff, student-athletes and other members of the campus in a way that is necessary for them to reach their full potential.”
Zimmerman is beginning his ninth season with the Barton basketball program. He first joined head coach Ron Lievense’s staff in for the 2006-07 season, just in time to contribute to Barton’s national championship run. After two years with the Bulldogs, he spent two years in the NCAA Division I ranks at Morehead State University, where he served as an assistant coach and head of basketball operations.
He returned to Barton in 2010, working for two years as assistant director for athletic development before rejoining Lievense’s staff for the 2012-13 campaign. In eight seasons with Barton, Zimmerman has been a part of 160 victories, three regular-season championships and one conference tournament championship in addition to the national title.
“We are giving Coach Zimmerman this promotion because of the tremendous job that he has done at Barton over the last eight years,” Lievense said. “He bleeds Barton blue. He’s extremely loyal and hard-working, and is a tremendous basketball coach. We believe that he truly deserves this honor.”
Zimmerman also serves as assistant compliance coordinator at Barton.
“Joel is highly involved in all areas of the Barton basketball program, and pours his heart and soul into each and every day,” Wilkinson said. “Joel was recently selected to participate in the prestigious NCAA Men's Basketball Coaches Academy, one of only 14 D2 coaches chosen to attend. Joel can be counted on as a loyal and dedicated employee that puts the greater good first, always. From my position as athletic director, I am very proud of his growth as a professional. At the recommendation of Coach Lievense, I am pleased to announce that Coach Zimmerman will be promoted to associate head coach.”
Zimmerman played collegiate basketball within Conference Carolinas at former member institution Anderson University before graduating in 2003. Zimmerman volunteered as an assistant coach at his alma mater before first being hired at Barton.
“I'm truly honored to be elevated to associate head coach by Coach Lievense and Athletic Director Wilkinson,” Zimmerman said. “It is a great privilege to be able to come to work every day for Coach Lievense, Barton Basketball and Barton College. I am excited to begin another year working with our players to help them be successful both on and off the floor.”