Jeff Barber appointed as new athletic director
Charleston Southern named Jeff Barber its new athletic director on May 17, Barber, who spent a decade as an administrator at the University of South Carolina and another 11 years as athletic director at Liberty University, is the third A.D. in CSU history. He replaced Hank Small, who retired after a 17-year stint leading the department. Barber was instrumental in numerous enhancements at the Liberty, helping the Flames on their path to FBS football. At both Liberty and South Carolina, Barber spearheaded fundraising efforts that led to growth and facility upgrades across the board. Barber is a 1981 graduate of East Carolina University and also spent time working at ECU and Furman.
Ellis named CSU Senior Male Student-Athlete of the Year
Anthony Ellis finished off a storied career as a defensive end on the CSU football team with a third consecutive All-America nod. In 2017, he was named Big South Co-Defensive Player of the Year, becoming just the fourth repeat winner of the award. Ellis paced the league in tackles for loss (16.0) for the third consecutive year and finished second with a career-high nine sacks. As a unit, the Bucs set the Big South single-season sack record, with 34. The Apopka, Fla., native finished his career as CSU's all-time leader in both departments.
Cloessner named CSU Senior Female Student-Athlete of the Year
Cloessner completed a richly successful career on the tennis court and in the classroom, earning the Hunter Cup as CSU's top senior student-athlete while also being named Big South Women's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Cloessner compiled a 3.944 GPA as a business management major. The Wetzlar, Germany, product paced CSU with a 12-4 singles record and 12-7 doubles mark, finishing her career 51-10 and 46-21, respectively. Cloessner was a remarkable 25-3 in Big South singles action, and 22-6 in doubles. She was also a key member of the 2015 Big South Tournament championship team that punched the program's first-ever ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
Baptist College alumnus Roger Nielsen ('74) donates $500,000 to CSU Baseball
Charleston Southern received one of the largest donations in the school's athletic history from one of its own. Roger Nielsen, a 1974 Baptist College at Charleston graduate and former Buccaneer catcher, committed $500,000 to the baseball program in May. The playing surface at CSU Ballpark will be named Nielsen Field to honor the generosity of Roger and his wife, Joyce. The Nielsens' gift will be directed toward the Bucs' efforts in recruiting, training and player instruction.
Baseball's Cody Smith drafted by Pittsburgh Pirates
Charleston Southern right-handed pitcher Cody Smith was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 39th round of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft. Smith served as the Bucs' closer during his final two seasons and finished his career third in program history with 17 saves. He was a second-team All-Big South Conference selection as a junior, and added seven more saves as a senior. It was the second straight year CSU had a player drafted, as outfielder Chris Singleton was picked by the Chicago Cubs in 2017.