ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – NC Wesleyan College announced today that Aaron Denton will take the helm of the NCWC Athletic program. Denton has spent the last 10 years as the Athletic Director for Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst. He is set to take over May 15, replacing Wesleyan long-time director John Thompson, who announced he was stepping down February 8 after 20 years as AD.
“I am excited to begin my work with student-athletes, coaches, faculty, staff, and the entire Wesleyan community. The college’s recent record growth provides both enthusiasm and opportunity,” noted Denton, “It is an honor to join those efforts to serve and lead a committed group of staff and students. Together we can achieve academic and athletic excellence while providing the best experience for our student athletes.”
Denton arrived in Pinehurst in 2008 to serve as Sandhill’s first Athletic Director. Under his leadership, the school started the athletic program with men’s basketball, women’s volleyball and men’s golf. Over the next ten years, Denton added five more sports, including women’s golf, men’s and women’s cross country, and track and field. During his tenure, Sandhills won two National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Championships as well as numerous regional and national student-athlete and coaches’ awards.
“Wesleyan has a history of great ADs with Moe Bauer, Don Scalf, John McCarthy, Mike Fox, and John Thompson. As a former college athlete, coach, professor and director, Aaron should fall in line as the next great, said Wesleyan President Dewey Clark, “He understands that academic success and athletic success go hand in hand. I believe he will take Wesleyan’s athletic programs to the next level.”
Denton earned his Bachelor of Science degree in management at Guilford College where he played varsity basketball, football and lacrosse. Upon graduation, he remained with Guilford as assistant football and basketball coach before moving across town as assistant men’s basketball coach at UNC-Greensboro. While there, Denton earned his Master’s degree in Business Administration. He later had coaching stints at Southern Guilford High School (Head Coach), Miami-Dade College (Assistant) and Louisburg College (Head) prior to joining Sandhills.
Wesleyan is a member of NCAA Division III and USA South Athletic Conference. As Director of Athletics, Denton will oversee a comprehensive program that includes 14 varsity teams: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, and volleyball.
Wesleyan has a long and rich history of athletic success, including two national championships in baseball, numerous conference championships, more than 70 All-Americans and complete dominance in men’s tennis, having won the USA conference and the conference tournament the last nine consecutive years.
More than half of the students on campus participate in sports at Wesleyan, where athletics play an important role in a well-rounded liberal arts education. “Wesleyan has a tremendous reputation not only on the court or field but in the classroom, Denton noted. “I look forward to helping continue that tradition that Coach Thompson fostered during his tenure.”
Last season 136 Wesleyan athletes earned USA South All Academic honors; the women’s soccer and volleyball teams have won national team academic awards, and a number of athletes have won Academic All-Region awards.
Denton and his wife, Ami, along with their two children, will relocate to Rocky Mount.