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UC Berkeley Press Release

UC Berkeley announces new athletic director, Notre Dame's Sandy Barbour

– 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 the University of California, Berkeley, UC Berkeley Chancellor Designate Robert J. Birgeneau announced today (Wednesday, Sept. 15).

Sandy Barbour
Sandy Barbour answers questions from the media after her selection as UC Berkeley's new athletic director. (Steve McConnell photo)

Print-quality images available for download

 Anouncement webcasts:
Watch the press conference
Interview with Sandy Barbour by George Strait, associate vice chancellor of public affairs

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. 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," said Birgeneau, who assumes the chancellorship on Sept. 22.

"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, serving 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 has since 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. In her first year in the position, Tulane won four conference titles, a feat never before accomplished in that school's history. She also hired Tommy Bowden as Tulane's head football coach during her first year. Bowden proceeded in 1997 to post the Green Wave's first winning season (7-4) in 16 years, and then directed the school to a 12-0 record, Conference USA championship and No. 7 national ranking the following season as 1998 Liberty Bowl champions. Barbour later hired Chris Scelfo as Bowden's successor. Scelfo has subsequently gone on to set the school record for career wins in five subsequent seasons.

One of eight female athletic directors at NCAA Division I-A schools at the time, Barbour was chair of the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee and a member of the Division I Academics/Eligibility/Compliance Cabinet and the board of directors of the National Association of Collegiate Women's Athletic Administrators. She was also elected chair of the inaugural Conference USA committee for Senior Women Administrators and served on the league's executive committee. In addition, she chaired the executive committee for the 1993 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships hosted by Tulane.

In her current position 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 is also responsible for developing, maintaining and implementing Notre Dame's $127 million athletics facilities master plan. Among the capital projects currently underway is the $22 million, 100,000-square-foot Guglielmino Center, which will feature a centralized football operation as well as sports medicine and strength and conditioning facilities. Under Barbour's supervision, the construction of the new facility is due for completion in June 2005.

In addition, her role at Notre Dame includes responsibilities for women's lacrosse, men's and women's cross country, indoor and outdoor track, men's and women's swimming and men's golf. She also assists White with the administration of women's basketball.

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 1981 with 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 also served as 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 the Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School (an MBA in 1991).

Between master's programs, Barbour served as assistant field hockey and lacrosse coach at Northwestern from 1982 to 1984. She also held the position of director of recruiting services during that period, before being promoted to assistant athletic director for intercollegiate programs in 1984.

She served in that capacity until 1989. Prior to joining Tulane, Barbour worked in programming and production for FOX Sports Net in Chicago during the summer of 1990.

At UC 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. The Golden Bears' men's golf and rugby teams both won national championships last season, and the football team is currently ranked No. 10 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today national polls.