Sports, University News

U. starts search for new athletics director

New director announcement planned to coincide with presidential selection

Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The search is ongoing to replace Director of Athletics Michael Goldberger next year.

The University is in the initial stages of its search for a new director of athletics and, with an independent search firm currently looking for qualified candidates, the search committee hopes to announce a decision in April in conjunction the announcement of a new University president.

Current Director of Athletics Michael Goldberger announced he was retiring at the end of the academic year last December.

Margaret Klawunn, vice president for campus life and student services and head of the search committee, said the University is using a consulting firm to pinpoint candidates, but the search committee will be in charge of interviews and application reviews. The members of the committee were announced to the athletics department last month — among them are head coaches, student athletes, members of the Offices of Campus Life and the Dean of the College and Kenneth O’Keefe ’76, chair of the Brown University Sports Foundation.

The University is looking for someone with experience in college athletics as well as enthusiasm for Brown’s sports teams, Klawunn said.

“We have a lot of things coming out of the Athletics Review Committee,” she said. “We have a lot of things in process, and we’re looking for someone who can come in and move that forward.”

“I don’t know if there’s a simple formula for who might be a good match for this job,” Goldberger said. He said the candidates need to understand the dual importance of athletics and academics in the lives of the University’s athletes, as well as the role athletics play in the University’s overall mission. Passion for the job is a must, he added. 

“They should really enjoy it,” Goldberger said. “We have so many teams, so many games.”

The challenges that come with the job will depend on where the candidate comes from, Goldberger said. “If it’s someone who has been at Brown already, then it would be stepping right into really making your own assessments about what our needs are and how to best go about achieving them,” he said. “If it’s someone from outside of Brown, then it’s really getting to know the Brown culture.”

Klawunn said the opportunities and challenges of the job go hand-in-hand. “The opportunity is that we’ve just affirmed our 37 sports, and we’ve got a lot of support,” she said. “The challenge is we’re trying to support 37 sports, and we’ve got big fundraising goals. So all of that needs to be carried forward, and progress needs to be made.”

“The draw is Brown,” said Davies Bisset III ’85, executive director of the BUSF. Bisset said though the athletics department has been “dragged through a real negative period” and has lost some of the support of alumni and donors, the affirmation athletics has received from the Corporation and administration is good news for whomever the committee chooses.

“We want to capitalize on the positive signals and statements and gestures that we’re getting from the University toward athletics,” Bisset said.

Klawunn said the committee is planning on conducting interviews in late March with the possibility that final candidates for University president would meet with final candidates for this position.



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