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Pioneer Athletics Director Debby De Angelis announces retirement


Debby De Angelis

  • May 9, 2013

Debby De Angelis, Cal State East Bay's director of athletics, has announced her retirement, effective Aug. 2, after 12 years on the job. She was the first woman to hold the position at CSUEB and wraps up a career in collegiate athletics that spanned more than 40 years.

“Debby never wavered from her commitment to the well-being of her student-athletes or her coaches and staff,” said Sara Lillevand Judd, senior associate athletics director for compliance. “She has been an inspiration and mentor to me for the past 12 years.”

Under De Angelis, Cal State East Bay began the three-year application process of regaining membership to NCAA Division II in 2008 and joined the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). In July of 2011, The Pioneers were granted active member status, allowing the East Bay teams to compete for CCAA and NCAA championships. With De Angelis' guidance through the transition, the athletic department separated from the Department of Kinesiology, increased in size from three to 10 full-time staff and moved from a non-scholarship program to one which exceeds the minimum of $250,000 in athletic financial aid, while coming into compliance with Division II rules for scheduling, recruiting, scholarships, and eligibility.

"Debby has contributed greatly to the success of our athletic program, in particular her work to move us to Division II and her efforts to enhance the diversity of collegiate sports administration,” commented Brad Wells, CSUEB's Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Administration and Finance. “Even more importantly, Debby's leadership and focus on student-athlete success is a primary reason for the persistently high GPAs and graduation rates of our student-athletes. I am grateful to Debby for her many contributions and support of the University.”

“Like an elite athlete who makes the spectacular look nonchalant, Debby led us through the transition back to Division II and made it look easy,” added Judd.

During her time at Cal State East Bay, De Angelis has been recognized regularly for her success and leadership in intercollegiate athletics administration. In 2007, she was honored as the NAIA Region II Athletic Director of the Year. The following year, she was named Astroturf NAIA/Other Colleges and Universities Athletic Director of the Year. In the fall of 2008, De Angelis was selected as a National Association of College Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) Administrator of the Year for the NAIA. In 2012 she was inducted into the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame. With her background in athletic business, she is a long time member of the Collegiate Athletic Business Managers Association (CABMA) and will be honored by them in June with the George Eldridge Distinguished Service Award.

Prior to beginning the NCAA Division II transition process, De Angelis served as vice president of the Association of Division III Independents and worked on the NCAA Division III Working Group of Membership Issues. While Cal State East Bay held dual membership in NCAA Division III and NAIA, she held the position of vice chair of the NAIA Region II Management Council and served as an at-large member of the National Council of Collegiate Administrators. In 2008, De Angelis was also chosen by the NAIA Council of Presidents to serve on the governing body's Gender Equity Committee.

Since joining the CCAA, De Angelis serves on the CCAA Executive Council, Championship Committee, Game Management Committee, and as the liaison for the conference Compliance Coordinators Committee.

In 2009, she was elected to the Board of Directors for NACWAA. She currently is the secretary of NACWAA and the Co-chair for the Local Organizing Committee for this year's convention in San Diego.

De Angelis came to Cal State East Bay from Towson University in Maryland and previously worked at Cal State Northridge and Northeastern University in administrative roles of increasing responsibility.

After helping to start and rowing on the first women's crew at UC Santa Barbara, she coached rowing there and later coached at Cal State Long Beach, the University of Massachusetts, and Northeastern University. She was also a development coach for two Olympic Sports Festivals.

Working as a volunteer, De Angelis served as assistant manager for the 1976 and 1980 USA women's Olympic Rowing Teams and a manager for four other world championship teams. She is a member of Northern California Olympians. As a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Rowing Association for 19 years, she served in multiple offices. She has been selected as the U.S. representative to the International Federation of Rowing Associations (FISA) Congress 11 times where she consistently campaigned for women and lightweight opportunities in rowing and the Olympics. For 31 years, she served FISA as a commission member on both the Women's Commission and the Youth Commission.

After serving as a national official at the 1996 Olympics, she became a certified international rowing umpire in 1998. De Angelis subsequently worked as an official for both the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics. From 1976-80, she served as the President of the National Women's Rowing Association and later worked to merge that organization with the National Association of Amateur Oarsmen to create the USRowing Association with a board made up of 50 percent women.

Debby plans to stay in Hayward in retirement where, currently, she's an active member of the Hayward Rotary Club, serving on the board of directors and as chair for international service. She has agreed to serve as the club's president for 2014-15. Recently she was selected to serve on the Women's Advisory Committee for the 15th Congressional District.

“I want to thank all the excellent colleagues and student-athletes I have been able to work with over my career for all their efforts,” said De Angelis. “It has been a joy to work in a field where I can see daily efforts to succeed and excel. Seeing what sport brings to individual development and the leadership of both the students and those that have worked with me has been very rewarding.”

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