PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In a message to students, faculty, staff and alumni, Brown President Ruth J. Simmons announced today that Michael Goldberger, director of athletics, will retire at the end of the academic year.
“In his 38 years at the University, Goldie has played a significant role in the success of programs in which he has participated or led,” Simmons wrote. “As director of admission for 10 years, he oversaw a steady improvement in the selectivity of the undergraduate admission process. More recently, ... the commitment of the University to invest more in our team sports and the infrastructure of athletics was greatly facilitated by his steady, deep commitment to our students and coaches. His lasting, positive difference in these and other areas will be remembered and acknowledged for many years to come.”
Goldberger came to Brown in 1973 as an assistant varsity football coach. He was recruited for that position by Brown’s John Anderson, who had coached Goldberger as a football player and team captain at Middlebury College. Goldberger later served as head coach of freshman football, as assistant baseball coach, facilities director, and assistant athletic director, and became the athletic department’s liaison with the College Admission Office. He moved to the College Admission Office as an associate director in 1985 and became director in 1995.
Under Goldberger’s leadership, Brown’s athletic department has grown and become better integrated with the University’s academic and extra-curricular life. Brown student-athletes have been recognized for their academic performance, including a No. 2 national ranking by the Academic Performance Report in 2011. Many Brown varsity players have been selected as Academic All-Americans during his tenure, with a remarkable total of 47 Academic All-District selections. The teams have found success in competition as well with 12 Ivy League titles and 14 NCAA tournament appearances — most recently with back-to-back “Sweet 16” appearances by the men’s varsity soccer team. The women’s crew won NCAA Division I rowing championships in 2007, 2008, and 2011, and the Brown football team won Ivy League championships in 2005 and 2008.
Goldberger had decided to retire a year ago, Simmons said in her message, but agreed to remain because a number of pending matters required his attention. Now, with a major expansion of the athletic complex — the Nelson Fitness Center, the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center, the David J. Zucconi ’55 Varsity Strength and Conditioning Center, and the new Ittleson Quadrangle — due to open in the spring and the University’s strong commitment for capital investments in athletics, better facilities for certain varsity teams, improved staffing, competitive coaches salaries and more, Goldberger will conclude his decades of service to Brown.
“I am very grateful to Brown University for providing me with such incredible opportunities and am fortunate to have been able to have three different careers — coaching, admission, and athletic administration — all at a University that I love,” Goldberger said. “Each job presented its challenges and rewards, but all positions allowed me to work with incredibly bright, talented, and dedicated students, faculty, and staff. I am truly thankful for the time I have spent here and to the people with whom I have worked.”
The University will undertake a national search to identify and hire a new athletics director, Simmons wrote, “to continue the work to which Goldie has devoted so much dedication and inspired service and to advance the new plans for improving athletics at Brown.”