De Smet names new athletic director


Kevin Berns

Harold Barker will return to De Smet as Athletic Director beginning this summer. He previously served as assistant AD and math and science teacher from 2017-2020.

De Smet’s new athletic director is a familiar face. Harold Barker was welcomed back to De Smet Wednesday, where he served as Assistant Athletic Director as well as a math and science teacher from 2017-2020.

This summer, Mr. Barker will take over the AD position previously held by John Pukala, who is retiring from De Smet.

Returning to De Smet after a stint at St. Louis Priory School where he served as Director of Athletics and a faculty member in the math department.

“I am excited for this opportunity to return to De Smet Jesuit,” Mr. Barker said. “I look forward to reconnecting with coaches and faculty and will strive to forge strong relationships within the community.”

Mr. Barker also spent 18 years at Whitfield School, where he served as a math and science teacher, as well as head coach for golf and basketball.

Mr. Barker holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Master of Science in Athletic Administration from Ohio University. He also earned the designation of Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) from the Nation Inter Scholastic Athletic Activities Association earlier this year.

“I am eager to build and implement a mission-driven, world-class athletic experience for our boys as they grow into men for others,” Mr. Barker said. “I am thankful to everyone at Saint Louis Priory School as I navigated my initial years as an athletic director through the pandemic. AMDG!”

Named the Missouri State High School Athletics Association Boys Golf Coach of the year in 2012, and the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award in 2013, Mr. Barker’s excellence is well recognized.

“We are thrilled to have an athletic administrator and educator of Mr. Barker’s caliber return to our school community,” Mr. Poelker, principal, said. “We look forward to partnering with him to ensure the excellence of De Smet Jesuit’s athletic program for years to come.”