EDINBORO, Pa. — Edinboro’s longtime Director of Athletics Bruce Baumgartner will soon assume a new role with the university as assistant vice president for university advancement. The move, which takes effect at the end of the spring semester, will occur as Edinboro gears up for a capital campaign.
“Bruce has done a great deal of fundraising in his current position as athletic director, and he has built a wealth of positive relationships,” said Vice President for University Advancement Marilyn Goellner. “We look forward to having him as a member of the advancement team, where he can build on those many long-standing relationships with alumni and friends and to foster new ones.”
Baumgartner said he looks forward to his new position. “I have been part of the Edinboro University community for more than 30 years. It has been an honor to lead Edinboro’s athletics program and to support our student-athletes. I look forward to serving the university in this new capacity, which will enable the new athletic director to focus on matters other than fundraising.”
Baumgartner, a native of New Jersey and a 4-time Olympic gold medalist, joined the university in 1984 as an assistant wrestling coach and later served for seven seasons as head coach of the Division I team. During his tenure, his teams compiled a 70-36 record, including a 14-0 dual meet record in 1997, the best finish in school history. He transitioned to the position of interim athletic director in 1997, and was appointed to the role permanently in 1998.
Notable accomplishments include establishment of a number of endowed scholarships to support student-athletes and a student-athlete graduation rate of 80 percent. He also oversaw several capital projects, including renovations to Sox Harrison Stadium and the addition of the Mike S. Zafirovski Sports & Recreation Dome. In addition, Baumgartner spearheaded Edinboro’s successful Make-a-Wish fundraising initiative, earning EU one of the top five spots among NCAA Division II institutions for the last five years.
Katherine Robbins, currently assistant professor and assistant chairperson of Edinboro’s Department of Counseling, School Psychology and Special Education, will serve as interim athletic director,effective May 14. Robbins, who joined the Edinboro faculty in 2012, began her work with student-athletes while in graduate school at Clemson University, where she served as a learning specialist and mentor in Clemson’s student-athlete enrichment program.
Three years ago, working in collaboration with Associate Athletic Director Todd Jay and Edinboro’s coaches, Robbins launched a pilot program to provide academic support and assist Edinboro’s first-year student-athletes in their transition from high school to college. The pilot was started with four students and, during the past two years, has grown to more than 40 students.
A college athlete herself, Robbins understands the challenges of balancing college classwork with competitive sports. “College athletics is an important part of campus life. The program we started at Edinboro and the support it provides can make a real difference for student-athletes struggling with the challenges of adapting to college life.”
A native of Pittsburgh, Robbins attended North Allegheny High School. She was a 3-time All American and a member of three national water ski championship teams – in 1991 with the University of Central Florida and in 1993 and 1994 with the University of Louisiana, Monroe.
Robbins said she looks forward to working with Edinboro’s coaches, trainers and Athletics staff to best meet the needs of student-athletes and the university. “I have been working directly with coaches for the last several years. They are incredibly passionate and hard-working and I am very excited about the opportunity to partner with them in this new role.”