MUNCIE – Ball State president Geoffrey Mearns announced he had selected former Butler assistant athletic director Beth Goetz as the Cardinals new athletic director at a Monday press conference. Goetz will officially begin her duties June 18.
Goetz was most recently the chief operating officer in UConn's athletic department and before that served as the interim athletic director at Minnesota during 2015-16.
"I couldn't be more thrilled for the opportunity to be part of Ball State athletics," Goetz said. "From the moment you start the process, you're already down the road thinking about the type of impact you might be able to have and the success that Ball State athletics is certain to continue to have and build on it in the future."
Mearns and Mike McDaniel, a member of the Ball State Board of Trustees, spoke at the introductory press conference, praising Goetz as a highly qualified choice to succeed the retiring Mark Sandy, who has led the athletic department since 2015.
"I'm excited about this announcement," McDaniel said. "We had some outstanding candidates apply and we narrowed it down to the person we think can lead us in a positive direction going forward."
Goetz played soccer at Clemson and Brevard (North Carolina) and later coached the Missouri-St. Louis women's soccer team for 11 years. She moved into an administrative role and became the assistant athletic director there before moving on to Butler as the associate athletic director for the Bulldogs.
She was at Butler from 2008-13, working with the men's and women's basketball teams and then worked at Minnesota and Connecticut. With the Huskies, she was the program administrator for several sports, including football and women's basketball.
"(Beth leaving is) a big loss for us at UConn but when you are really good, and so well respected, it’s only natural that you will be in demand," Connecticut women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma said in a written statement. "Beth is an amazing person and leader and I am going to miss her. However, the coaches and student-athletes at Ball State are going to love her."
Goetz joins a relatively small group of women athletic directors at major college programs. Among the 131 schools that make up the Football Bowl Subdivision, only 12 had female athletic directors in 2016-17, according to the NCAA.
"(Being an athletic director) was always a part of a possible (career) path," Goetz said. "I love the business, I really wanted to impact the experiences of student athletes and learn all sides of what it takes to run a department."
Goetz got some of the loudest applause of the press conference when McDaniel asked her jokingly about some Ball State history, asking what the school's mascot was before it was the Cardinals.
"Hoosieroons," Goetz correctly said, without missing a beat.