May 5, 2024

Forsyth Tech has taken a significant step forward in the development of its new athletics program with the appointment of Athletic Director Shelly Barnes. Barnes, who assumed her role mid-March, brings a wealth of experience and a passion for building successful sports programs from the ground up.  

A native of Randleman, just 45 minutes from Winston-Salem, Barnes has roots in the Triad region. She played volleyball and basketball in college before going on to teach and coach in the K-12 system and at Lenoir Community College, where she also served as athletic director for 12 years. “Building an athletic program from scratch is exciting, and I’m thrilled to see what we can do at Forsyth Tech. This community has been incredibly welcoming and supportive, and I believe we have the tools to grow a competitive sports program.” 

As Athletics Director, Barnes will be responsible for guiding Forsyth Tech through the membership application process into the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). By Aug. 1, she will determine the sports the school will participate in, taking into consideration available facilities and community interest. “We’ll be looking at a range of sports that not only fit our facilities but also resonate with the interests and passions of the local community,” Barnes said.  

Drawing on her background in coaching, Barnes has high expectations for the caliber of coaching staff and student-athletes the school will attract. “Our aim is to recruit student-athletes who are not only skilled in their sport but also committed to excellence in the classroom, she said. She also sees the benefit of a sports program in the wider region. “I believe our program will not only benefit our student-athletes but also serve as a rallying point for the Forsyth Tech community.”