WMU taps leader from Oregon State to take reins of Bronco Athletics

Contact: Paula Davis

Dan Bartholomae

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Following a nationwide search, Western Michigan University has named a new director for intercollegiate athletics.

Dan Bartholomae, Oregon State University’s executive deputy athletic director and chief operating officer, will take the reins of Bronco Athletics effective Jan. 1, pending Board of Trustees approval. Bartholomae succeeds longtime Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard, who is retiring this month after a four-decade career at Western, including 24 years heading up the division.

“We are grateful to Kathy for her many years of exemplary leadership. Moreover, her pioneering success leading Bronco Athletics has left an incredible foundation upon which our forthcoming athletic director can build in the years to come,” President Edward Montgomery says.

"Dan comes to Western with a strong record of service in Division I athletics and a commitment to maintaining a program centered on success for our student athletes on and off the field. We are pleased to have a leader of his caliber and experience to guide the division into its next era of accomplishment,” Montgomery says.

As Western's new AD, Bartholomae (pronounced bar-THAW-lo-MAY) will be responsible for the administration of a comprehensive NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision Intercollegiate Athletic program, reporting directly to the president and serving as a member of the president's cabinet.

"I am honored and energized to join an institution with such a rich history of comprehensive success nationally and within the Mid-American Conference," Bartholomae says.

"The opportunity to leverage that history and partner with a campus leadership team that places a high priority on integrity, inclusive excellence and the student-athlete experience fits my most ambitious personal and professional goals."

Bartholomae, first at an Atlantic Coast Conference school and then in the Pac-12, has extensive experience in college sports administration, including managing and hiring head coaches at the Division I level, as well as leadership in athletic department strategic planning, fundraising and capital projects.

He joined the Oregon State University (OSU) Beavers as deputy athletic director supervising capital projects and internal operations in 2017. He was promoted in 2019 to executive deputy athletic director and chief operating officer. At OSU, Bartholomae served as a lead in the Completing Reser Stadium project—setting a strategic vision, meeting with lead and foundational donors and engaging in civic partnerships to fund a $153 million stadium renovation through a fundraising campaign, public/private partnerships and revenue bonding.

Prior to his tenure with Oregon State, the Pittsburgh native served in numerous leadership roles in University of Pittsburgh athletics, beginning in 2002 as a compliance and game operations assistant and rising steadily through the ranks until concluding his 15-year stint with Pitt as the deputy athletic director responsible for internal affairs.

Bartholomae through his career developed a track record of collaborating with athletic department staff, university administration, faculty, alumni and donors on detailed and measurable strategic planning in areas of athletic excellence, student-athlete development, revenue generation, community engagement, facility development and diversity and inclusion. He represented OSU and Pitt on committees and working groups with the NCAA, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, the Pac-12 and ACC.

He has also been deeply engaged in supporting student-athletes as a leader in compliance, financial and student services, assisting in the development of Pitt’s first life skills program for student-athletes and managing the academic performance plan for all of Pitt’s 19 varsity sports. He served as a liaison and departmental point of contact with key university entities, including the board of trustees, chancellor, Title IX office and academic support services.

Bartholomae will soon join Western’s storied Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, which has 16 varsity athletic programs—six for men and 10 for women. Since 2010, Bronco teams have won 26 conference championships and the football team has repeatedly been invited to post-season bowl games, including this coming Monday’s appearance at the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit. Bronco student-athletes, who are accomplished in their sports as well as in the classroom, have earned grade point averages greater than 3.0 for 30 consecutive semesters.

"I am thrilled to be joining all Bronco student-athletes, coaches, staff and surrounding fans and partners in creating a first-class experience for all those invested in Bronco Athletics," Bartholomae says.

"We will champion our student-athletes as they pursue their athletic, academic and life goals; we will serve as incredible partners within the University and to our fans and supporters; and we will empower our athletic department staff and coaches in achieving our goals together. This is a great day to be a Bronco, and we are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work!"

Bartholomae holds a Bachelor of Science degree in policy analysis and public affairs from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He and his wife, Lauren, have two children.

His appointment, subject to Board of Trustees approval, will be up for consideration at the board’s next regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 20, 2022.

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