Ball State Athletics Director Announcement

Ball State Athletics Director Announcement


Well, good afternoon, and
as I think most of you know, my name is Geoff Mearns, and I
have the good fortune of serving as the president here at
Ball State University. And it’s my pleasure to welcome
you to this very special event, an opportunity for us to
introduce the next director of intercollegiate athletics
for Ball State University. As some of you know, Ball State
has been competing on the courts and on the fields since
our founding in 1918, and since 1973, our
teams have competed in the mid-American
conference at the highest level of intercollegiate
sports, in Division I. Over the years, our Cardinals
have had many competitive successes, and our student
athletes have excelled in the classrooms. And every day — every day,
our athletes, our coaches, and our staff represent
this university with honor and integrity. And today, we’re delighted that
you’re here, because today, we are positioned to extend and expand this tradition
of excellence. And in a moment, I will
introduce the woman who will lead us to
those new heights. But first, it’s my privilege
to introduce Mr. Mike McDaniel, a devoted member of
our board of trustees. Mike, as you know,
is a loyal alumnus, and a dedicated Cardinal fan. He will share with you the
commitment of our board of trustees, the commitment that
our board has for the future of Ball State athletics. Mike? [ Applause ] >>Good afternoon. >>Good afternoon. >>This is an exciting day for
Ball State, and those of you in this room — I see
so many familiar faces. This is the core of the family
who are the real believers, the people of —
supporters for so long. And I believe very strongly
that Ball State is on the cusp of exploding to even higher
heights with what’s going to happen to us in
the next few years. Now that the commitment of
the first capital campaign for athletics has taken place,
Cardinal Commitment Campaign, and those different venues
are now coming online — we saw with the golf
practice facility, the baseball/softball complex. The Varners [assumed
spelling] are heroes with what they did out there. People like the Schumans
[assumed spelling] — what’s been done with
football — it’s just amazing. And we still have work to
do, but it’s a commitment. It’s a commitment to
Ball State University, because athletics has
been such a rich part of our tradition ever since
this school was founded back in the early 18 —
or, the early 1900s. And it’s been such
an important part of the fabric of
this institution. We have been blessed by
having outstanding young men and women put the Ball
State name on their uniform and wear it to various events
all through these years, and done it with great
pride in a very classy way. We are proud of the fact
that we’ve had programs that have run beautifully,
and hardly ever in doubt about the way we go
about doing things. And we have student athletes. We have some of the
highest graduation rates for student athletes in all
of the NCAA institutions. And so, today, it’s another
page in that chapter. Before I go on, let me say to Mark Sandy [assumed spelling]
— Mark, where are you? Mark? He’s out here somewhere. Mark, we thank you. We thank you for what you’ve
done for Ball State University, and we thank you, Mark,
for what you’ve done in — okay, you — [laughter]. You and Kitty will forever be
part of the Ball State family, and we thank you for your great
service to the university. [ Applause ] But today, we’ve turned
the page, and I’m excited about this announcement. We had some outstanding
candidates apply, and we narrowed it down to the
person we think can lead us in that positive
direction going forward. And, on behalf of the Board
of Trustees of Ball State, I can tell you we are committed
to intercollegiate athletics and what it can do for
these student athletes, and what it can do
for the university, and what it can do
for this community. And so, I’ve heard
a lot about her, just met her a little while ago. She came highly recommended
to me before we ever put out the search, which
is interesting to me, because I wasn’t part of
the final decision making. But this person that came
so highly touted to me ended up being our new
athletic director, and so I’m excited about that. I hear she’s a person
of great detail, and knows how to
get things done. In fact, let’s test her
right now [laughter]. Beth, what was our nickname
before we were the Cardinals? >>Before the Cardinals
[laughter]? The Hoosieroons [laughter]. [ Applause ] >>That changed [inaudible]
in 1927, and I think part of the reason she knows that,
she grew up in St. Louis, and she’s a Cardinals
fan [laughter]. Being a Reds fan, that’s
hard for me to say, but anyway — [laughter]. As a Cardinals fan
— but she knew that. That tells me she knows how to
do her homework, and she’s going to be diligent about every
detail there is to do with the job of athletic
director, which is a huge job. But seriously, on behalf of
the board of trustees, Beth, welcome to the Ball
State family. >>Thank you. [ Applause ] >>Thanks, Mike, and thank
you again for your dedication and devotion to our university. And so now, it’s my
honor and my privilege to introduce our next director of intercollegiate
athletics, Ms. Beth Goetz. Beth was born and raised,
as Mike said a moment ago — she was born and raised in St.
Louis, Missouri in a family of competitive athletes. She began sports, like many
of her sisters, playing soccer at a very young age, and she
was an outstanding collegiate soccer player. She first played at Brevard
College in North Carolina, and then continued her
competitive success at Clemson University. After graduating from Clemson,
Beth returned home to St. Louis to coach the women’s soccer
team at the University of Missouri St. Louis, and then,
after a very successful career as a coach, she became an
athletics administrator. And throughout her
distinguished career, she has consistently been
promoted to positions of increasing responsibility at several outstanding
institutions. For five years, Beth served as
the associate athletic director at Butler University, so
she’s familiar with Indiana. From Butler, Beth was recruited
to the University of Minnesota. She first served as the senior
associate athletics director, and then as the deputy athletic
director, and for nearly a year, she served as the
interim athletic director at the University of Minnesota. Presently, Beth serves as
the chief operating officer of the athletics department at
the University of Connecticut. And in addition to managing
the financial operations, Beth is also the program
administer for several sports, including football and
women’s basketball. Last time I checked, Mike,
women’s basketball team at UConn won a couple
games [laughter]. But Beth’s record of professional achievement made
her stand out in a large pool of outstanding candidates,
but there were two things in particular that
impressed me about Beth. First, she genuinely understands that intercollegiate athletics
is an integral component of our fundamental
educational mission. Yes, yes, we want
our teams to win, but our student athletes
train and compete in order to learn the importance of
discipline, of hard work, of dedication, of
teamwork, and of leadership. Our coaches and our
staff, so many of whom are with us today — they
understand that first and foremost, they
are educators. The second thing
about Beth is — it was clear to all of
us who were involved in the search process that she
embodies the enduring values that have distinguished this
institution for 100 years. She embraces, like all of us,
a commitment to excellence. She embraces a commitment
to character and integrity, to social responsibility,
to diversity and inclusion, and to gratitude. And that’s why it is an
honor, ladies and gentlemen — it is my honor to introduce Ms.
Beth Goetz, the next director of intercollegiate athletics
for Ball State University. [ Applause ] Hello, everyone. I am just so honored to be
here, and want to thank you all for taking the time to join us. As Ball State begins its
centennial celebration, I am excited to celebrate
that history, and serve this athletic
department and university as we embark on the
next 100 years. President Mearns, thank you
for this great opportunity. Your leadership and energy
when we met was inspiring, and with what you’re
trying to do, I’m just so honored you
have allowed me to be a part of your team, and of
this wonderful community. I look forward to working
in partnership with you, your cabinet, and the
board of trustees to serve and support the mission and
values of the institution. We both know from experience the
impact collegiate athletics can play on the development
of students, and the role it can
play in bringing pride to the university, and
uniting the campus, alumni, fans, and community. It will be a great
privilege to work with you, and sharing the strength
of this impact as realized. When I discovered
you were a runner, I also thought maybe I’d
found a new training partner. From what I’ve heard, however,
I will need to increase my pace and mileage just to keep
up with you [laughter]. I may fall behind,
but please trust that I will follow your
leadership all the way to the finish line. I’d like to thank the search
committee for their efforts and time throughout the process. Meeting each of you gave
me a window into the people that make Ball State and the
Muncie community so special. I’d also like to acknowledge
Mark Sandy for his hard work and stewardship in turning over such a respected
athletics program. I look forward to working with
the university and the community to build on the strong
foundation that has been created, and
to reach even greater heights of success, both
competitively and academically. Before I move forward with my
remarks, I ask your patience for just a few minutes so I can
say some thank-yous to those who have been such an
important part of my journey. There is no greater gift
than to be touched by someone in your life, or to
touch someone else who has invested
selflessly in your growth. To my family, who have shared
each and every win and loss with me for the countless games
I have played in, coached, or supported as an
administrator — I’m pretty sure they would tell
you they enjoy me much more in victory than in defeat. But I like to remind them that my competitive spirit
is simply an inherited trait. You supported my dreams,
and your belief, and spirit, and simply — I’m sorry. Your belief in me
has never wavered. My mom’s work ethic,
my dad’s heart, have made me who I am today. To my amazing aunt, my three
sisters who are my best friends, nieces, and brothers-in-law,
I would not be who I am today without your constant
love and support. To Jen, who is my voice
of reason, my courage, and my true partner, you make
me better each and every day. And of course, I hope you
all know I appreciate your willingness to always
wear my team colors, and adopt the mascot. I have finally found
the perfect fit for our St. Louis
roots [laughter]. So you can say with great
passion, “Go Cards!” I have been blessed to have
such amazing influences on my journey, and so many
that have shaped my path. I have learned so
much from each of you, and I will follow your
examples of leadership. Barry Collier, my athletic
director at Butler, shows daily that the right way and the winning way are
always the same thing. University of Minnesota
President Eric Kaler, whose commitment to excellence
in all he does is contagious — and I am grateful for the
opportunity he gave me to lead. The examples set by
Northwestern AD Jim Phillips, who genuinely cares for
all his student athletes, and invests in people — he is the definition of a
servant leader, and I thank you for supporting my growth. And to David Benedict at UConn,
who has been my boss, my mentor, and a valued friend — your
strategic vision and knowledge of this landscape here in college athletics has
been a true educational gift. Your constant investment in
my professional development and trust in me gave me
the confidence that led to my standing here today. No matter if we were facing
challenge or joy, you allowed me to be right by your side. I am forever grateful, and will
do my best to make you proud. So many others, including
Laurie Flanagan, Brad Hewitt [assumed spelling],
and three of the best coaches and leaders in their sport in
Brad Stevens, Hugh McCutcheon, and Geno Oriama [assumed
spelling] — I can’t stress enough how
impactful these three, and the tremendous
coaches here at Ball State, are in the development
of student athletes. To all my teammates at UMSL,
Butler, Minnesota, and UConn, of course, incredible student
athletes that inspire me each and every day, and the many
coaches I played for — and especially Tracy and Ray,
whose influence started me down this road — I thank you. The best thank-you, though, I
can give is to pay it forward. If I can make even a fraction
of an impact on the lives of those here at Ball State
that these folks made on me, I know firsthand it
will make a difference. Sport for me has always
been a place of opportunity, a place to build confidence,
to push beyond limits, a place to learn to rise
up again after failure, and an avenue to be
part of something that is much bigger than myself. The opportunity to come here and see the positive
effects sport has on Cardinal student athletes, and to help provide a positive
experience, means a world to me. I was struck by the theme of
your strategic planning process, “Spreading Our Wings,”
because that’s — very accurately describes how
a student athlete embraces their development. I believe in the impact
of higher education, and know a student’s
participation in college athletics at this
level can be an integral component and enhancement to
this transformative experience. I relate easily to the culture
and the work ethic that is so evident in this community. And I share Ball
State’s intrinsic values in the university’s beneficence
pledge of academic excellence, integrity, respect for
diversity, and a classroom that extends beyond
the campus walls. My commitment to you today is to lead Ball State
with this foundation. I will serve with
integrity, transparency, and a relentless
drive for success. The athletic department will
partner closely with the campus and faculty, as it
is our first priority to see our student
athletes earn a degree from Ball State while instilling in them the strengths they will
bring Muncie and all of Indiana, as they become business
and community leaders. Our department will not shy
away from expressing our desire and expectation to win and
bring championship trophies back to campus. We challenge ourselves to
increase the energy and passion, and fill the stands
and membership of the Cardinal Varsity Club. In doing so, I am confident
these expectations will be achieved. I have the great privilege and
opportunity to touch lives, to support young men and women
in pursuit of their dreams, and to help shape
the future leaders of this great community,
state, and beyond. To our student athletes, know that our team will
be your biggest champions. I look forward to
getting to work closely with such an amazing group
of coaches, and together, we will provide you with a
first-class experience on and off the fields of play. Whether it is the equipment
and training you need to reach your utmost potential
in competition, academic support to ensure a quality education
and career prospects. Or even opportunities to
reach into the community, give back in response to all
you’re being provided here at Ball State, I
promise you that support. We all know that strength
lies in unity, and together, we will embrace the
innovative spirit so prevalent here at Ball State. Together, I am confident
we will support the growth and academic success of
our student athletes. Together, we will strive
for competitive excellence. Together, we will serve to unite and bring pride to
this community. I want you all to know
how truly excited I am to write the next chapter here at Ball State Athletics
with you. Together, we fly. Thank you. [ Applause ] So thank you, Beth. So, you know, in
my introduction, one of the things I mentioned
was Beth’s commitment, the fact that she embraces
our enduring values. And one of those values
that we often speak about is the value of gratitude. And in that spirit, I want you
to know something about Beth that she shared with me
just a couple of days ago. Which is that —
she has informed me that she will donate 50%
of any bonus she earns here as athletic director back to
the Cardinal Varsity Club, back to support our
athletic programs, back to support our
student athletes. That’s why we’re so
fortunate to have Beth as our next athletic
director here at Ball State. [ Applause ] And Beth, as you know, our
student athletes, our coaches, our staff — everyone associated
with the university has dreams, and hopes, and aspirations
for this university, and we’re delighted
that you’ve chosen to pursue your own
dreams here with us. So before we provide
some of the media who are here an opportunity
to ask Beth some questions, I wanted to also express my
appreciation to a couple people. I want to acknowledge a
couple special people. Both Beth and Mike have
spoken about Mark Sandy. Is he still slipped in
the room, or is he back? There he is. Mark, thank you for
your service. Thank you for your support
of me during this transition. Thank you very much for
positioning our university for even greater success. We wish you and Katy
so much — very good — so much goodwill in the future. Thank you, Mark. [ Applause ] Beth also mentioned
the search committee. We have several members from
the search committee here, and there were other
people who helped with the screening process. As they well know, we had a deep
pool of outstanding candidates. It was a very difficult process,
so I want to thank you all for the time that
you’ve committed to this. Thank you very much
for your service. And then, also want to
recognize Stephanie Arrington. As you know, Stephanie
is so good at managing complex projects. She managed this one
with her usual diligence, and dedication, and discretion. Stephanie, thank you very much
for all that you do for me, and for all of us every day. [ Applause ] So I saw Ryan here, and I saw a
couple of members of the media. For those of you — if you want
to stay seated, Beth is going to take a couple questions. I’ll take any questions my way, and then you can
join us outside. I know Beth wants to take
a moment to meet as many as you can — many of you
as she can this afternoon. So we’ll take some questions. Or if there are none, we’ll
just go outside [laughter]. Yes? What is your top priority as you get started
here at [inaudible]? Well, first of all, let me just say again how
thrilled I am to be here. And as you hit the ground
running, the first thing is just to really get to know the
community, and the staff, and the coaches, and
really get a feel and understand what is important to Ball State Athletics
historically, and moving forward. In terms of priorities,
there’s really three things that I think are
really important. And first is to establish a
commitment across the board to continue to support
an excellent experience with our student athletes
academically, athletically, in their development as leaders. Secondly, revenue generation — we all know that college
athletics comes with an expense, and it’s really important
to find and continue to generate revenue, and
to also be great stewards of the resources
that we do have. So that’ll certainly be a focus. And the third is really to build
a culture of competitiveness, and winning, and excellence
in everything that we do. And that’s really just going
to mirror what Ball State is, and how they operate
across the board. But that’s — those
are the focus areas that I’m really going to hit on
as I arrive in a couple weeks. What in particular was
attractive about coming to Ball State [inaudible]? A handful of things, really. Obviously, I’ve spent
some time in the state, but true to my roots, I’m
a Midwesterner at heart. Obviously, been in — and
growing up in Missouri, spending some time here —
but at the end of the day, when you look at an institution, the first thing that’s really
important to you is alignment. And I really believe that
the values I have are those that Ball State embodies
each and every day. And so, finding that fit
was really important to me. Certainly, the great people
that have been here to support and grow the institution — I’ve
heard so many wonderful things about the coaches and staff. And the opportunity to come in
and really be a part of that under President Mearn’s
leadership was really exciting. >>Okay, so before we
break up and go outside, I think we got a couple
baseball players here, right? Yep. That’s right. And I understand there’s
a tournament coming up next week [laughter],
so I spoke to the coach. I’m heading to Cleveland
on Saturday and Sunday, and I want to see
you folks playing — you guys playing on
Saturday and Sunday. Right? That’s the semi-final and the final game
of the tournament. So we’ll see you there,
6:00 on Saturday, right? How about a big round
of applause, best wishes for our
great baseball team. [ Applause ] So again, thank you
all for joining me. Beth will be here
for a few minutes. She’s got a busy afternoon
schedule that we’ve planned for her, but I know she wants
to take a few minutes to meet as many of you as she can today. Thank you very much
for joining us. Go Cardinals. [ Applause ]

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