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Notre Dame's Sandy Barbour named new director of athletics

16 September 2004

Anne “Sandy” Barbour, deputy director of athletics at the University of Notre Dame and former athletic director at Tulane University, has been named director of athletics at UC Berkeley, Chancellor-designate Robert J. Birgeneau announced on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

Barbour replaces Steve Gladstone, who announced in June his plans to step down as athletic director after three years and return to coaching the Cal rowing teams full time.

“This is my first appointment in my new role at Berkeley,” said Birgeneau, who assumes the chancellorship on Sept. 22. “I simply can’t imagine a better appointment. I consider it a real privilege to appoint Sandy Barbour as Cal’s new athletic director. I have every confidence she will have a huge impact on our program.”

“Cal represents everything that’s right with higher education and intercollegiate athletics,” said Barbour, 44, who agreed to a five-year contract with the campus. “I am thrilled and flattered to be given this opportunity. This is what I have been working toward my entire life. It’s a dream come true, both personally and professionally.”

Barbour will head a Division I intercollegiate athletic program that fields 27 sports with an annual budget of about $40 million.

At Notre Dame, Barbour is the deputy director of athletics, having served as the university’s senior athletic administrator under athletic director Kevin White since July 2003. She previously held associate athletic director positions there starting in 2000.

Her career in intercollegiate athletic administration spans 22 years, beginning as a field-hockey and lacrosse assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts in 1981. She later served as assistant athletic director at Northwestern University, and in 1991 was recruited to Tulane University as an associate athletic director.

While at Tulane, Barbour also worked for White — then Tulane’s athletic director. At the age of 36, she was appointed Tulane’s director of athletics when White left in 1996 for a similar position at Arizona State University.

During her three years as athletic director, Tulane teams won 12 conference championships. Barbour also hired Tommy Bowden as Tulane’s head football coach during her first year; Bowden turned the Green Wave program around, including an undefeated season and bowl appearance in 1997-98. Barbour later hired Chris Scelfo, Bowden’s successor, who has set the school record for wins in the past five seasons.

One of eight female athletic directors at NCAA Division I-A schools at the time, Barbour has been active in NCAA student-athlete policy committees. She also chaired the executive committee for the 1993 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships, hosted by Tulane.

At Notre Dame, Barbour oversees facilities and event operations for the school’s 26-sport program, including football-game management and the department’s two golf courses. She oversees cross country, indoor and outdoor track, swimming, women’s lacrosse, and men’s golf, and assists with the administration of women’s basketball.

She is also responsible for developing, maintaining, and implementing Notre Dame’s $127-million athletics facilities master plan, including the construction of a 100,000-square-foot sports center that is due for completion in June 2005.

Hockey captain, sorority president, MBA ...

Born Dec. 2, 1959, in Annapolis, Md., Barbour grew up in a military family. Her father was a career aviator in the U.S. Navy, and her family lived in various U.S. locations as well as in Western Europe during her childhood.

Barbour graduated cum laude in 1981with a B.S. degree in physical education from Wake Forest University, where she was a four-year letter winner and captain of the field hockey team. She also played two varsity seasons of women’s basketball. She was president of Pi Beta Phi sorority during her undergraduate days.

She earned advanced degrees at both the University of Massachusetts (an M.S. in sports management in 1983) and at Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School (an MBA in 1991).

At Berkeley, Barbour will inherit an intercollegiate athletic program that has earned No. 9 national rankings the past two years in the U.S. Sports Academy Director’s Cup standings, which rates more than 300 NCAA Division I programs for overall excellence.