University of Akron
Shawn Barber, the University of Akron’s world champion pole vaulter, has decided to skip his final year of eligibility and turn professional.
Barber, from Kingwood, Texas, has signed a professional contract with Nike, and will be represented by the Doyle Management Group and former Olympic pole vaulter Jeff Hartwig.
On August 24, Barber, 21, competed and won the gold medal at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Beijing, China.
“I’m honored to have been a part of such a distinguished group of athletes at the University of Akron,” Barber said.
He will continue with classes necessary to complete his degree this year while training here on campus getting ready for future meets and the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“We are very proud of Shawn’s many accomplishments. He has meant so much to our program and to the University of Akron. We support him 100 percent in his new venture and his plans to finish school at The University of Akron. We are glad to have him still a part of our program in a new role,” track and field coach Dennis Mitchell said.
“The opportunity to continue my professional career training alongside Dennis Mitchell and the Akron Zips this year, while completing work on my degree is very exciting for me,” Barber said.
Barber will also serve as a volunteer assistant coach for the Zips this upcoming season.
The next two weeks will be busy for Barber as he competes in 5 different events: Weltklasse Zürich Diamond League Meet (Zurich, Switzerland – Sept. 3), ISTAF – IAAF World Challenge Meet (Berlin, Germany – Sept. 6), Aachen Germany Meet (Aachen, Germany – Sept. 9), Diamond League Meet (Brussels, Belgium – Sept. 11) and Kamila Skolimowska Memorial (Warsaw, Poland – Sept. 13).