SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Santa Clara University has hired Renee Baumgartner as Director of Athletics, tapping a veteran who honed her administrative skills at two of the nation's most prominent programs.
Baumgartner, Ph.D. will join SCU on July 8 from her current post as deputy athletic director and chief of staff for athletics at Syracuse University, where she has served since 2011. Prior to joining Syracuse, she worked for more than two decades at the University of Oregon.
She has been involved in NCAA Division I athletics as a student-athlete, coach, and administrator, beginning with her career as a four-year letterwinner and team captain for Southern California's nationally ranked golf team during her sophomore year.
"I'm excited to join Santa Clara," Baumgartner said. "The student-athletes, coaches, administration, alumni, and Jesuit mission embody the ideals I've held throughout my career."
A five-person campus committee helped SCU President Michael Engh, S.J., in the nationwide search.
"With great enthusiasm I welcome Dr. Baumgartner to lead Santa Clara's athletics program to greater national prominence. Her experience in athletics administration and the results she has achieved are balanced with a very personal insight into the needs of student-athletes. Her passion for athletics and her administrative acumen are tremendous assets that will benefit students, athletes, coaches, and the wider Santa Clara family," said Fr. Engh.
At Syracuse, Baumgartner supervises the daily operation of the Department of Athletics and oversees eight sports, including national powers in basketball and lacrosse for both men and women. She oversees fundraising, athletic communications, marketing and promotions, trademark and licensing, the multi-media partnership with IMG and the Nike contract.
"I extend my sincere thanks to the search committee, athletics staff, coaches, and all of the individuals whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Santa Clara for giving me this wonderful opportunity," Baumgartner said.
"Renee is an outstanding athletic administrator who has had a positive impact on Syracuse University. In her role as deputy athletics director, Renee has raised significant funds for new athletic facilities, attracted great coaches, and led operations for many of our high profile sports. Santa Clara University is fortunate to gain someone with the right background and values to lead a Division I program," said Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud.
A native of Portland, Ore., Baumgartner held the title of senior woman administrator at the University of Oregon from 1998 through 2011. During that time, she rose from associate athletic director to executive senior associate athletic director, serving as the second-in-command as the athletic program became one of the strongest in the nation. In addition to supervising a staff of 66 full-time employees, Baumgartner was a senior member of Oregon's athletics development team. During her tenure, the department completed the construction of a $200 million basketball arena and secured $23 million in funding to reinstate the baseball program and build a stadium.
Before joining the administrative ranks, Baumgartner built the Oregon women's golf program into a national power and earned a place in the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame. As a graduate assistant in 1987, she founded the program; by 1993, the Ducks qualified for the NCAA Championships.
She joined USC, her alma mater, for two years and coached the Women of Troy to a second-place NCAA finish. She returned as Oregon's coach in 1995. The Ducks became a regular participant in the NCAA Championships, finishing seventh in 1997 and 11th in 2000. In her final two seasons, she held coaching and administrative positions simultaneously.
Baumgartner, a graduate of Central Catholic High School in Portland, received her bachelor's degree from USC in sports information and broadcast journalism in 1987. As a senior, she earned USC's Scholar Athlete Award of Honor. At Oregon, she received her master's in interdisciplinary studies in 1989 and her Ph.D. in education policy and management in 1996.
She and her husband, Scott, are the parents of two daughters, Ellie and Abby.
The Broncos strengthened their reputation for academic and athletic excellence under former Athletics Director Dan Coonan; twice the school won the West Coast Conference Commissioner's Cup for all-around success, and the student-athlete graduation rate is above 90 percent. Coonan resigned earlier this year to become the executive director of development for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Senior Associate Director of Athletics Jeffrey Mitchell has been serving as interim athletic director since April.