John Barron was named Director of Athletic Performance at UALR in 2006, after founding Athletic Performance Training, Inc. and after a stint as a strength consultant for the Trojans during the 2006 spring semester. Athletic Training Performance, Inc. specializes in working with athletes who want to maximize their potential.
"John Barron’s impact has been unbelievable," said Director of Athletics Chris Peterson. "John maybe the best hire in my tenure as Director of Athletics."
In his first year as Director of Athletic Performance, Barron has made an immediate impact at UALR. Every sport has improved in all categories including strength, agility, and verticals.
The men’s basketball team was tested after the 2006-07 season and showed a higher average than when the team started during the season. The freshman and junior college transfers showed fast improvements in strength, while the veteran players stayed consistent. One men’s basketball player has improved his squat by 121 pounds, his bench by 40 pounds, and has increased his vertical leap by three inches.
"John Barron is a guy who is passionate and enthusiastic about what he does," said head men’s basketball coach Steve Shields. "He is all about helping young people reach their goals. He is completely upbeat and energetic in the weight room. You can tell that he loves what he does and that attitude is contagious. Looking at last summer, he only had our whole team to work with from mid-July on but was able to make phenomenal strides with our players to get them ready for the season."
The women’s basketball team stayed consistent throughout the season with their vertical team average staying the same.
"John Barron is one of the most dedicated and enthusiastic coaches I have worked with in my 28 years of coaching," said women’s head basketball coach Joe Foley. "He is available 24 hours a day. He works individually with groups. I have the most respect for how he deals with athletes and how much improvement I have seen in one year."
Four returning volleyball players for next year’s squad have increased their vertical leap by three and a half inches or better. One player has increased her vertical leap by five and a half inches.
"John Barron is a super human being, and he carries that over into his job," said head volleyball coach Van Compton. "I like his knowledge and expertise in strength and conditioning. His character shows through when he is training athletes. Something about him makes the athletes want to get better."
Recently Barron helped to establish Strength Tracker, a web based program, to the UALR Athletic Performance program. This program allows UALR student-athletes to access workouts based on their maxes via the internet from school or at home. The student-athletes can e-mail Barron with questions, as well as Barron can e-mail the athletes to let them know workouts are available. This program is in place for every UALR sport.
As a strength consultant, Barron worked with the volleyball team during the 2006 spring semester, while also consulting with the baseball team to design off-season and in-season training regimens. In addition, Barron designed a 12-week summer program for men’s and women’s basketball, and conducted all summer workouts at the Jack Stephens Center.
"John is producing the most physical teams and putting the most physical teams on the court," said head track and field coach and former Director of Athletic Performance Milton Williams. "He does a great job in all areas to develop athletes to their fullest potential."
Prior to joining the UALR Department of Athletics, Barron had served as president of The Benefits Group, Inc. (an insurance brokerage firm).
Barron graduated from UALR in 1980 with a bachelor’s of arts in liberal arts. He resides in Little Rock with his wife, Connie. They have three children; Lindsey, Hunter, and Matt.