Four former Judges lead the way as collegiate athletic directors

From left: Josh Centor '04; Amanda DeMartino '06; Lisa Goddard McGuirk '97 and Lynne Dempsey '93
From left: Josh Centor '04; Amanda DeMartino '06; Lisa Goddard McGuirk '97 and Lynne Dempsey '93

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They left it all on the field as Judges, and their passion for competition has led them to the top of collegiate athletics administration: four alumni who graduated between 1993 and 2006 are now athletic directors at other NCAA colleges and universities.

You don't have to go far to find Lynne Dempsey '93 – a Waltham native who attended Brandeis as a Waltham Scholar, played three sports and was named Brandeis's Max I. Silber Award winner for top female athlete as a senior. Dempsey climbed the ranks of the Judges' administration until she was named Acting Director of Athletics in 2015 and had the Acting tag removed a year later.

Western Pennsylvania is home to a pair of former Judges. Josh Centor '04 has been in Pittsburgh at UAA rival Carnegie Mellon University since 2008, becoming their athletic director in 2014. Centor played baseball at Brandeis, earning the Morris Sepinuck Sportsmanship award as a senior after leading the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

In the northwest corner of the state, Lisa (Root) Goddard McGuirk '97, has been at the helm of Division II Gannon University in Erie since August 2014 after stints as athletic director at Division III Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and the College of  St. Elizabeth in Morristown, New Jersey. McGuirk is still the Judges' career leader in wins and innings pitched, falling just shy of 500 innings in her career.

Most recently, Amanda DeMartino '06 took over the helm of the athletics department at the College of New Jersey in Trenton after spending time at National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Northwood University in Florida and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Raritan Valley Community College in her native New Jersey. DeMartino was the point guard during one of the most successful stretches in Brandeis women's basketball history, guiding the team to two Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England titles and two NCAA tournament appearances. She is the school's all-time assists leader and is one of only three former Judges with 100 games started in her career.  

Four More Former Student-Athletes Who Are Now Athletic Administrators
Karen (Chambers) Farrell '93, Volleyball and Softball, Associate AD, Case Western Reserve
Marni (Kutok) Friedman '04, Volleyball, Associate AD for Facilities & Operations, Wellesley
Jordan Skolnick '07, Soccer, Senior Associate AD for Development, University of Delaware
Jessica Chapin '10, Basketball, Assistant AD of Compliance, American International

All four cited the combination of academic and athletic opportunities that Brandeis afforded them as drawing them to Waltham in the first place. "My parents always stressed academics first growing up," DeMartino said. "That was just as important as playing basketball. I also wanted to be near a major city."

Another common thread was the chance to work behind the scenes in Brandeis's department of athletics. Whether it was organizing a "Kids In Sports Day," as Centor did with SAAC; spending time on campus over the summer as a camp instructor for McGuirk; or, as Dempsey did, starting out by packing uniforms in the equipment room, each of the four had an opportunity while attending Brandeis to see the department's coaches and staff beyond practice and game day. "I loved the culture and enthusiasm of the staff," Dempsey recalled. "I knew I wanted to be involved in collegiate athletics in some way."

Three of the four spent at least some time as coaches prior to becoming administrators. "I truly enjoy coaching and it will forever be a passion of mine," said McGuirk. "After coaching for a few years and having served as a head coach at both the NCAA Division I and III levels, I realized that I enjoyed the ad

ministrative responsibilities as much as the on-the-field coaching."

Only Centor headed straight into administration, via communications at Boston College and the NCAA offices in Indianapolis. He cites his competitiveness as part of his decision to follow his current path.  "Coaches have to wait to compete until their season comes around, but athletics administrators have a competition that is always around the corner," Centor says.

With her involvement in Brandeis athletics stretching across three decades now,  Dempsey believes Brandeis offers student athletes the same supportive yet challenging environment she discovered as a Judge. 

"In my four years, I found my voice," she said. "I've always appreciated the fact that Brandeis let me find my way at my own pace, so I talk about that with student-athletes whenever I can." 

Lynne Dempsey '93

Josh Centor '04

Lisa (Root) Goddard McGuirk '97

Amanda DeMartino '06

Fun Facts
* Third straight alumnus to serve as Brandeis AD
* Member of the Waltham High School
Hall of Fame
Fun Facts
* Wrote the NCAA's first-ever blog,
"The Double-A Zone"
* Wife Jaye '04 was a fencer at Brandeis

Fun Facts
* Served on Softball Ireland coaching committee
* Was head softball coach at
Division I Centenary (Louisiana) College

(Photo courtesy of the Robert D.
Farber University Archives &
Special Collections Department, Brandeis University.)

Fun Facts
*Three-time honorable-mention All-UAA
* First coaching job was under
Rollie Massimino at Northwood
University in Florida