Beth Goetz, former chief operating officer (COO) and senior woman administrator at the University of Connecticut (UCONN),  was named the new Director of Athletics at Ball State Monday afternoon.

"There certainly aren't too many [female athletic directors] across the country and even fewer at the FBS level," Goetz said. "I just think it's a great responsibility to be able to have this opportunity and for young women to say that they would like to maybe one day serve in this role as well, so I'm just anxious to get started."

Goetz will assume her new position June 18, but before getting down to business, her immediate focus is to take some time to familiarize herself with the coaches and the culture at Ball State.

"The first thing, really, is just to spend a lot of time listening and getting to know the people that are involved in the program, what they're passionate about," Goetz said. "It's going to take a long time to do that. It's just important. There are only so many things you can learn from looking at facts."

Goetz will serve as the successor to Mark Sandy, who announced his plans to retire from the position in January after three years at Ball State.

"What I appreciate most about Beth is that she believes athletics is part of the overall educational experience for college students," Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns said in a press release. "Beth also embodies the same values that are intrinsic to Ball State University, including our Beneficence Pledge."

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Goetz announced she will donate 50 percent of her bonuses each year to different student athlete organizations.

"I really think that the great leaders lead by example," Goetz said. "I know that it's something President Mearns did as well. ... I was just so touched by that — that notion — that I thought it would be important to me to follow that example."

Mearns said he selected Goetz after a thorough search, citing her experience and leadership background.

Goetz has a long history of involvement in sports. Prior to her time at UCONN, which began in 2016, she held the role of interim athletic director at Minnesota University for three years. At Minnesota, Goetz oversaw the development of student-athletes, athletic medicine and strength and conditioning. She also was a member of the Big Ten's Sports Management Committee.

As Ball State's new athletic director, Goetz will return to work in Indiana for the first time since 2013. At that time, she worked for Butler as an associate athletic director from 2008-13. During her Butler days, Goetz was responsible for all aspects of compliance and eligibility at Butler and worked closely with the men's and women's basketball programs, including two men's basketball teams that made back-to-back NCAA championship games in 2010 and 2011.

Goetz spent the previous 12 years as assistant athletics director and senior woman administrator at Missouri-St. Louis. With UMSL, Goetz also served as the women's soccer coach for 11 years. She was the Great Lakes Valley Women's Soccer Coach of the Year in 2000 and finished with 120 wins, including eight winning seasons. In 2014, she was inducted into the UMSL Sports Hall of Fame.

Having played soccer in college at Brevard and Clemson, Goetz appreciates the role athletics plays in the lives of student-athletes.

"The challenge to compete as a Division I athlete here at Ball State plays a crucial role in preparing student-athletes to be future leaders in the community and their chosen field," Goetz said. "I am proud to serve in supporting their dreams."

Pauleina Brunnemer contributed to this story. 

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