How one sports-loving dad, engineer and WSU alumni is serving up sports for local youth.
BY ABRAHAM TINKLEPAUGH
Jason Barker is a Weber State University alum with a degree in Design Engineering who gives back to his community, largely from the volleyball court. He is originally from North Ogden, where his earliest V-Ball moments took place on a homemade court that he and his younger brothers built along the side of his family’s home. Before becoming a volleyball coach, Jason began by playing sand volleyball in high school. He played three years of Club Volleyball for Weber State University, highlighted by a trip to Nationals during his Junior year.
Jason co-founded the Weber Elite V-Ball Club in 2013. After playing at Weber, Jason has been very involved with volleyball and sports, overseeing the LDS Sports Program in the local area for the past nineteen years. This will be Jason’s tenth year coaching for Elite V-Ball, and after talking with him for a while, it seems he loves every minute of it.
“What makes it fun is when the kids have been together as a team and learn how to play to each other’s strengths,” said Barker. “It’s great to work on something in practice, then see the team execute it in a game for the first time. In general sports teach us how to deal with winning and losing, and values such as commitment and loyalty.”
Among his reasons for co-founding the Weber Elite V-Ball Club was that very few local volleyball clubs existed at the time. He started with only two teams for his oldest two daughters. It has now grown to fifteen teams this year, and he gets to coach his youngest daughter this season. At Weber Elite V-Ball, coaches instruct hundreds of our local youth, all at cost. This is all possible because of great coaches who work alongside him in the program. He also loves coaching softball and playing sports with his family.
“I love that I can give kids a chance to play volleyball and that, hopefully, they learn to love the sport too.” said Barker. “One of the additional benefits of having our club is seeing better players competing at our local high schools, which is a win-win for the community.”