Director of Athletics at the University of California since the fall of 2004, Sandy Barbour has guided Cal Athletics through one of the most successful periods in school history, a tenure marked by championships, innovation, facility modernization and revenue growth.
Under her direction, the athletic department has become one of the consistently elite programs in the country, all while maintaining its commitment to a mission that seeks to match its level of excellence with that attained by the entire institution.
Built upon four pillars - to teach, to serve, to compete and to excel - Cal Athletics strives to combine high athletic achievement with the academic rigors of the No. 1 public university in the country, and to do so with integrity, passion, respect, teamwork, innovation, diversity and professionalism. The department is charged not only to be a campus and community leader, but also to be a place where individuals can grow to their utmost potential. In other words, "Athletics done right," to use one of Barbour's favorite phrases.
During Barbour's eight years overseeing Cal's 29-sport program that supports nearly 850 student-athletes, Golden Bears have captured 17 team national titles and another 81 individual crowns. Cal has also finished among the top 10 schools in the annual Directors' Cup standings six times, including a program-best third in 2011, and revenues in ticket sales, sponsorships and fundraising have all reached record levels.
Among Cal's many team athletic accomplishments are a 2006 Pac-12 co-championship and seven bowl-game invitations in football; the men's basketball team's first conference title in 50 years in 2009-10; a first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 berth in women's basketball in 2009; and two trips to the national semifinals in volleyball. Just this past year, the men's and women's swimming & diving teams both won NCAA titles for the second consecutive season, and Golden Bears captured a total of 14 individual championships.
Under Barbour's leadership, two major facility projects designed to benefit both student-athletes and fans opened over the past year, starting in the fall of 2011 with the Simpson Center for Student-Athlete High Performance, a state-of-the-art student-athlete training, coaching, and applied sports science and sports medicine center that supports daily needs of football and 12 Olympic sports programs. The 142,000-square-foot facility embodies the High Performance Initiative, Cal's innovative performance philosophy designed to build competitive advantage, maximize efficiency and enhance the student-athlete experience.
Barely a year later, California Memorial Stadium welcomed Cal fans back to Strawberry Canyon after the historic facility underwent a $321 million renovation and seismic retrofit that brings the facility up to modern standards while honoring the historic nature of the building.
On the academic front, the average GPA for Cal's 29 teams is 3.0 with volleyball producing a 3.40 GPA for the 2011-12 academic year, over 175 student-athletes annually earn academic all-conference notice, and 10 teams have received national recognition for their NCAA Academic Progress Rates over the last three years.
One of the "100 Most Influential Women in Business" in the Bay Area according to the San Francisco Business Times, Barbour was named a regional Athletic Director of the Year for 2008-09 by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), and she was a finalist for National AD of the Year at the Sports Business Awards. Barbour was previously chosen a 2006 Woman of Distinction by the East Bay Business Times and the 2006 National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) Division I-A National Administrator of the Year.
Barbour is an active member of several committees on both the national and conference levels. In July 2010, she was selected as the Pac-12 representative to the NCAA Division I Leadership Council, a four-year appointment. She chairs the Pac-12 Revenue Sharing Committee and serves on the conference's Compliance & Enforcement and Diversity Leadership Initiatives. Barbour is also on the NACDA Executive Committee, the NCAA Diversity Leadership Strategic Planning Committee, the NCAA Women's Basketball Discussion Group and the WBCA Defensive Player of the Year Selection Committee.
In the past, Barbour has also served as the chair of the Pac-10 Budget and Finance Committee, been a member of the Pac-10 Executive Committee and the Pac-10 Television Committee, and was vice president of the conference in 2007-08.
Prior to moving to Berkeley, Barbour was the deputy director of athletics at Notre Dame, serving as the university's senior athletic administrator from July 2002 to September 2004. She previously held an associate athletic director position there starting in 2000.
Barbour's career in intercollegiate athletic administration spans more than 30 years, beginning as a field hockey assistant coach and lacrosse administrative assistant at the University of Massachusetts in 1981. She has since served as assistant athletic director at Northwestern and in 1991 was recruited to Tulane as an associate athletic director.
In 1996, Barbour was appointed Tulane's director of athletics at age 36, and during her three years overseeing the program, Green Wave teams won 12 conference championships. In her first year in the position, the school captured four conference titles, a feat never before accomplished in Tulane history. She also hired Tommy Bowden as head football coach during her first year. Bowden proceeded in 1997 to post the Green Wave's first winning season (7-4) in 16 years, and then directed the school to a 12-0 record, a Conference USA championship and a No. 7 national ranking the following season as the 1998 Liberty Bowl champions.
In her position at Notre Dame, Barbour oversaw facilities and event operations for the school's 26-sport program, including football game management and the department's two golf courses. She was also responsible for developing, maintaining and implementing Notre Dame's $127 million athletics facilities master plan.
Additionally, her role at Notre Dame included responsibilities for women's lacrosse, men's and women's cross country, indoor and outdoor track, men's and women's swimming and men's golf. She also assisted with the administration of women's basketball.
Born Dec. 2, 1959, in Annapolis, Md., Barbour grew up in a military family. Her father was a career aviator in the U.S. Navy, and her family lived in various U.S. locations as well as in Western Europe during her childhood.
Barbour graduated cum laude in 1981 with a B.S. degree in physical education from Wake Forest, where she was a four-year letterwinner and served as captain of the field hockey team. She also played two varsity seasons of women's basketball.
Barbour earned advanced degrees at both Massachusetts (an M.S. in sports management in 1983) and Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management (an MBA in 1991).
Between master's programs, Barbour served as assistant field hockey and lacrosse coach at Northwestern from 1982-84. She also held the position of director of recruiting services during that period, before being promoted to assistant athletic director for intercollegiate programs in 1984, a position she held until 1989.
Prior to joining Tulane, Barbour worked in programming and production for FOX Sports Net in Chicago during the summer of 1990.