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July 2015

Renee Baumgartner, SCU Athletics Director

Renee Baumgartner, SCU Athletics Director

Santa Clara Broncos Welcome Renee Baumgartner, Ph.D.

Former Syracuse University deputy Baumgartner is the new director of athletics at Santa Clara University.

Division I powerhouse administrator Renee Baumgartner, the new Santa Clara University director of athletics, was warmly welcomed at a July 8 reception, at a time of high optimism for Santa Clara University's athletics program.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 8, 2015 —Santa Clara University welcomed to campus a dynamic intercollegiate athletics administrator, head coach, and former collegiate athlete, Renee Baumgartner, Ph.D., as the new director of athletics. At a reception July 8, 2015, before a packed audience of boosters, alumni, faculty, staff, and athletic department coaches and staff, Baumgartner received her official Bronco welcome from Rev. Michael E. Engh, S.J., president of Santa Clara University, and Brandi Chastain, former Bronco soccer star, World Cup champion and Olympic soccer gold medalist.

"With great enthusiasm, I welcome Dr. Baumgartner to lead Santa Clara's athletics program as we begin to re-invest in our program and expand its reach and 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 student-athletes, coaches, and the wider Santa Clara family,” remarked President Engh.

Baumgartner joins Santa Clara University from her 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 two decades at the University of Oregon, where she helped build Oregon into a national powerhouse.

"I'm excited to join Santa Clara and am committed and focused on the betterment of all student-athletes at this historic and renowned University,”  Baumgartner said. The student-athletes, coaches and administration, alumni, and Jesuit mission at Santa Clara University embody the ideals I've held throughout my life and my career."

The welcome included a formal program with comments from Engh, Chastain and Baumgartner. Baumgartner spoke on her vision for the athletic department and how her past experiences as a Division I athlete, coach, and administrator will help carry the Broncos to the top.

“We are delighted to begin working alongside Dr. Baumgartner, who is one of the nation’s top athletic administrators and a person of great character and integrity,” said Interim Director of Athletics, Jeff Mitchell. "With her diverse experience, she will resonate with our student-athletes, coaches, campus community, alumni, and friends to grow the Santa Clara brand and to advance Bronco athletics toward an improved standard of excellence."

Baumgartner first began her involvement with NCAA Division I athletics as a four-year letter winner and team captain her sophomore year for the University of Southern California nationally ranked golf team.  She has years of experience in all arenas of intercollegiate athletics.

“Renee is an accomplished athletic administrator who has made a positive impact on student-athletes throughout her career,” reflects Larry Scott, Pac-12 Commissioner. “Her time at Oregon was marked by a strong commitment to executing a vision to create a first-class athletic program that benefitted the entire university.”

“The West Coast Conference welcomes Renee Baumgartner as the new Santa Clara University director of athletics,” said Lynn Holzman, West Coast Conference Commissioner. “Renee is a seasoned professional who embodies Santa’s Clara’s long-standing commitment to whole student-athlete education and experience. We look forward to working with Renee as Santa Clara University moves into this next chapter of its rich and storied intercollegiate athletics program.”

Baumgartner’s welcome reception to a crowd of 200+ attendees, demonstrated the excitement and enthusiasm for her and for the renewed focus on athletics at Santa Clara University.

"As a proud alumni and a volunteer coach for the women's soccer team, I am extremely excited about the future of Bronco athletics with the hiring of Renee," said Chastain. "I look forward to a renewed enthusiasm and excitement on campus in support of athletics."

Baumgartner’s track record for administrative successes and her ability to create cohesive, healthy, and well-rounded experiences for the student-athletes precedes her. Kevin White, director of athletics at Duke University remarked: “Renee Baumgartner is a truly great hire for Santa Clara. Renee is a very gifted leader, who possesses unique relationship capabilities that will hugely impact each and every constituency; however, her unwavering commitment to all Santa Clara student-athletes will indeed be her ultimate hallmark.”

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.

And the University is certain the growth will only continue. “Renee is an outstanding athletics administrator who has the experience, intellect and energy to be a tremendous leader for Santa Clara,” said Bob Bowlsby, Commission for the Big-12. “I am excited for Renee’s opportunity but I am particularly enthused for the Santa Clara community to get acquainted with her.”

A five-person campus committee helped President Engh in the nationwide search. Baumgartner begins her tenure as the new director of athletics beginning on Wednesday, July 8.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering; master’s degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry, and theology; and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contacts
Joey Karp |  Asst. Dir., Sports Information, SCU Athletics | (408) 554-4670
Jeffrey Mitchell |  Interim Dir. of Athletics | (408) 551-1782
Deepa Arora | SCU Communications Director | (408) 554-5125

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