Western Michigan hires new athletic director; Dan Bartholomae ready to 'get to work'

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

For the first time this century, Western Michigan has a new athletic director.

The university has named Dan Bartholomae to succeed Kathy Beauregard, who will retire at the end of this month after a 24-year run leading the Broncos' athletic department. The school made the announcement Thursday, and the hire is subject to to the Board of Trustees' approval next month.

Dan Bartholomae is Western Michigan's new athletic director.

Bartholomae comes to Western Michigan from Oregon State, where he was a deputy AD overseeing several fundraising projects, including a $153 million football stadium renovation.

"Dan comes to Western with a strong record of service in Division I athletics and a commitment to maintaining a program centered on success for our student athletes on and off the field," Western president Edward Montgomery said in a statement. "We are pleased to have a leader of his caliber and experience to guide the division into its next era of accomplishment."

The length of Bartholomae's contract and financial terms weren't immediately disclosed.

At Western, he takes over a department with 16 teams, six men and 10 women. It's a department that's had notable on-field success in recent years, notably in hockey and football. It's also a department that's been under financial duress, even before the pandemic. The department has cut millions from its budget recently.

Bartholomae joined Oregon State in 2017 as deputy athletic director for capital projects, and was promoted to executive deputy AD and chief operating officer in 2019.

Before his time out west, Bartholomae was in the Pittsburgh athletic department, where he started in 2002. He's a Pittsburgh native, with a master's from Pitt and a bachelor's from Indiana. At Pittsburgh, he worked under athletic director Heather Lyke, the former AD at Eastern Michigan.

He also has a background in compliance, having served on multiple NCAA committees.

"I am thrilled to be joining all Bronco student-athletes, coaches, staff and surrounding fans and partners in creating a first-class experience for all those invested in Bronco athletics," Bartholomae said in a statement. "We will champion our student-athletes as they pursue their athletic, academic and life goals; we will serve as incredible partners within the university and to our fans and supporters; and we will empower our athletic department staff and coaches in achieving our goals together.

"This is a great day to be a Bronco, and we are ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work."

Bartholomae joins the department just in time for the Quick Lane Bowl, set for Tuesday, when Western Michigan will play Nevada at Ford Field in Detroit.

Beauregard has been Western Michigan's athletic director since 1997, and before that she was a deputy AD and gymnastics coach. In all, she has spent more than four decades at the university.

Beauregard, a Kalamazoo native who graduated from Loy Norrix High, has a bachelor's from Hope and a master's from Western. Beauregard is one of 10 female athletic directors in Division I — two work in Michigan, with Central Michigan's Amy Folan — and is the longest-serving AD at one school.

She made some notable hires in her time at Western, including P.J. Fleck, now at Minnesota, to coach football, as well as current Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill.

"We are grateful to Kathy for her many years of exemplary leadership," Montgomery said of Beauregard, whose time as AD outlasted the combined tenure of the state's other six current Division 1 ADs. "Her pioneering success leading Bronco athletics has left an incredible foundation upon which our forthcoming athletic director can build in the years to come."

We're running a new-subscriber special. Support local journalism, and subscribe here.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984