June 3, 2004
BERKELEY - Following a successful three-year tenure as athletic director at the University of California, Berkeley, Steve Gladstone announced today that he is resigning so he can devote more time to his two loves, his family and coaching.
Cal's legendary men's crew coach, the 63-year-old Gladstone had served in a dual role at the university since his appointment as athletic director in April 2001. He will continue to serve as Cal's AD until a national search for his successor is completed in the coming months. Associate Chancellor and Chief of Staff John F. Cummins will oversee a search committee that will forward recommendations to the new chancellor.
"I want to personally thank Steve for providing the Cal athletic department with outstanding vision and leadership during the past three years," said outgoing Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl. "His integrity and hard work have helped transform Cal athletics into one of the most admired programs in the nation. As we look for comparable leadership in the years to come, we must give credit to Steve for establishing the foundation for our current and future successes."
Today's announcement marks the end of a remarkable tenure as AD for Gladstone, who oversaw a 27-sport program that won four national team championships (rugby twice, softball and men's crew) during that period and finished ninth among 318 NCAA Division 1-A colleges in last year's Directors' Cup standings.
His acumen for hiring head coaches has been impressive, as three of his five new selections-Jeff Tedford (football), Kirk Everist (men's water polo) and Cari DuBois (women's gymnastics)-won conference Coach of the Year honors in their very first seasons at the helm, while a fourth new coach, Chris Huffins, has restored Cal's track and field program to national Top 20 status.
"As I worked to manage the two jobs and also find time for my family, it became apparent that I needed to make a change," said Gladstone from Cherry Hills, N.J., where Cal is competing at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Nationals this weekend. "At the core, I am a coach. It's a profession that continues to provide me with incredible challenges and personal satisfaction.
"These are dynamic and exciting times for Cal athletics, and while I regret leaving my post as AD at this juncture, I believe it is the right decision for me and the university. The department's mission will remain the same. I am fully confident that my successor will lead that mission, which is to attract and retain the best coaches in the country, to upgrade our facilities, and to provide our student athletes with the best opportunity to compete and succeed in the classroom and on the athletic field. I feel strongly that the department is positioned to move forward with strength and clarity. I also feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to assemble a talented and committed executive staff that will assure our future success."
Under his guidance this school year, Cal has fielded 10 sports that finished among the nation's Top 10 and 15 teams that placed in the Top 20.
As a crew coach, Gladstone is already considered the greatest college coach in modern day rowing history. Entering this weekend's IRA Nationals in Cherry Hills, N.J., he has already won 10 national championships during a career that spanned 34 seasons at California, Harvard and Brown. Only Charles "Pop" Courtney claimed more national crowns, although his 11 titles at Cornell (1901-15) came prior to the advent of full-scale intercollegiate competition in the United States. Gladstone has won five national crowns at Cal, and five more at Brown.
Gladstone served as director of rowing and men's varsity crew coach at Cal twice, first from 1972-80 and most recently since 1996. He also held the post of director of rowing operations at Brown from 1981-94. A varsity oarsman at Syracuse University where he received his bachelor's degree in American literature, Gladstone's first coaching position was at Princeton. Four years later, he moved to Harvard, where he led his teams to four consecutive undefeated seasons.