“It’s a huge honor after a lifetime of passion for this old Native American sport,” he said.
Barton was introduced to lacrosse in high school through his older brother, a star defenseman. “I was on the first lacrosse team in my senior year at the George School in Newtown, Pa.,” he said. “I would hone my skills every summer at pick-up lacrosse games in Westchester County.”
At Hamilton, Barton worked relentlessly at three sports: boat racing in the fall with the Sailing Club, basketball in the winter, and lacrosse during the Hill’s short spring. He said lacrosse was a natural fit as many of his basketball skills were transferrable, and Coach Manfred Von Schiller saw greatness.
Among his many athletics achievements while wearing the buff and blue, Barton was basketball co-captain and a starter on the 15-3 1968-69 team, one of the best in the College’s history. He was also lacrosse team co-captain and the leading goal scorer, and was commodore of the Hamilton Sailing Club for three years.
After graduation, Barton earned an M.B.A from Columbia University, then briefly joined Hershey Foods but decided to change careers and continue his Hamilton-inspired studies in psychology. He headed west and began a career in mental health at two East Bay psychiatric hospitals while he earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology at the University of San Francisco. That’s where he discovered West Coast lacrosse.
“My love for lacrosse and my skills as an offensive player exploded in 1973 when I joined the Cal Berkeley Lacrosse Club,” he said.
Ironically, this club was founded in 1966 by two former Hamiltonians and Cal grad students, Rick Rickerson ’59 and Hackett Bushweller ’61. “Our Cal team went 14-4, then 16-1, and then lost a handful of games my last two years,” Barton said.
Barton opened a clinical practice in San Francisco in 1982, added a doctorate in 1990 while working, and closed the practice in 2018 before moving to Maine. Now retired, he stays active sailing and racing boats. He’s also writing a second sailing book.
The Hall of Fame inductee also remains dedicated to lacrosse. A donor to the Hamilton Lacrosse Fund, he has endowed the William Barton Lacrosse Fund.
“I continue with my work of serving on the Cal alumni board of directors and am excited to help Hamilton lacrosse thrive,” Barton said.