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Dan Coonan named director of athletics
Dan Coonan, former executive associate athletics director at the University of California, Berkeley, is Santa Clara University’s new director of athletics and recreation.
Coonan, who signed a six-year contract, will oversee all aspects of operating the department’s 17 NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports as well as its recreation, intramural, and club sports programs. “We spent a lot of time making sure the right candidate understood the culture and traditions of Santa Clara University,” said Rick Giorgetti, president of the Bronco Bench Foundation.
Coonan becomes the fifth director of athletics at Santa Clara since Pat Malley took over the reins in 1965. Since that time, Tom O’Connor (1986–92), Carroll Williams (1992–2000) and Cheryl Levick (2000–2004) have served in that role.
While at Cal, Coonan, 41, oversaw all aspects of football and men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball. He also managed the department’s strength and conditioning and sports medicine units as well as legal affairs and event management. He also conducted the search for football coach Jeff Tedford, and negotiated the institution’s first multi-sport apparel and equipment contract with Nike.
A 1984 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Coonan earned a J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in 1987.
Broncos in the Olympics
Mary McConneloug ’93
She was the only American woman to compete in Olympic mountain biking in Athens and finished ninth overall in the Olympic finals. She earned a bachelor of music in vocal performance at SCU. She is one of several U.S. mountain bikers featured in the forthcoming documentary, “Off Road to Athens,” which chronicles the competition for a spot on the Olympic team. McConneloug didn’t start mountain bike racing until her late 20s and wasn’t considered an elite rider until a few years ago.
Brandi Chastain ’91
A veteran of the inaugural Women’s World Cup team in 1991, Chastain 36, was part of this year’s gold-medal winning team in Athens. She was also on the team when it won gold in 1996. She may be best remembered as the hero of the 1999 World Cup shootout. After converting the winning penalty shot against China, she took off her jersey in celebration and revealed her sports bra. (See "Hit the Books" for information on her new book, It’s Not About the Bra.) Chastain is married to SCU women’s soccer head coach Jerry Smith and has worked as a Bronco assistant coach.
Aly Wagner ’02
Wagner was Chastain’s teammate on the gold medal-winning women’s soccer team. While at SCU, Wagner won the 2002 Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy as college soccer’s top player and helped Santa Clara to two straight championship matches, including the school’s first national title in women’s soccer in 2001.
She was the No. 1 pick in the 2003 WUSA draft by the San Diego Spirit and was named to the All-WUSA Second Team that year.
Kelly Crowley ’99
The part-time staff member in SCU’s Environmental Studies Institute won two medals in six events at the Paralympics in Athens, including helping the United States to a gold medal in the individual medley relay. She also had two fourth-place finishes. SCU’s 1999 valedictorian was profiled in the Fall 2004 issue of Santa Clara Magazine.
Rambis enshrined in San Jose Sports Hall of Fame
Former Santa Clara University men’s basketball star Kurt Rambis was among five South Bay athletes being inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame in November. Rambis will be honored with a brass plaque mounted in the concourse of HP Pavilion.
The induction of Rambis brings the total number of former SCU coaches and athletes who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame to five. Previous inductees are Buck Shaw (1998), Pat Malley (1999), Carroll Williams (2001), and Dennis Awtrey (2002).
Rambis, 46, is a Cupertino High School graduate who became the West Coast Conference Player of the Year at Santa Clara. His 14-year NBA career included nine seasons and four championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as stints with the Chicago Bulls and Phoenix Suns. He still holds the school record for points in a career with 1,736 and is second behind Awtrey in career rebounds with 1,037.