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Concordia welcomes new athletic director

After an extensive search process last spring, Concordia welcomed new Athletic Director Jefferson Bretherton with open arms this fall. With fall sports in full action now, Bretherton feels right at home in the Concordia community.

“I’m very excited to be here with such a great community,” Bretherton said. “The relationship Concordia has with its athletic program is unique and something I’m looking forward to being a part of.”

The process of selecting an athletic director was no small task. Bretherton was one of four candidates to meet with the search committee, board of directors, coaches, students, and president. The extent of Concordia’s search for a new athletic director did not go unnoticed by the chosen candidate.

“The process I went through really showed the depth of campus leadership,” Bretherton said. “It was a great process that represented the community very well. Meeting with the faculty on the board, and the coaches and athletes was a great experience. I knew it was somewhere I wanted to be.”

Bretherton was named athletic director on May 1 and by the end of June he was beginning his transition into his new position. Deputy Athletic Director Rachel Bergeson helped welcome Bretherton to campus.

“It’s been a fun transition throughout the summer. I’ve been aiding him in every way I can throughout this time,” Bergeson said.

Rachel Bergeson was interim athletic director last year after Rich Glas, former head basketball coach, stepped down from the position in the spring of 2016. Currently, Bergeson is serving as deputy athletic director as Bretherton is named athletic director.

“He has a lot of experience with fundraising, which is a very important aspect of being an athletic director,” Bergeson said.

Bretherton previously served as senior development officer at St. John’s University from 1996 to 2003, as well as an assistant football coach. He also served as the director of development for the Heart of the Rockies Initiative at the University of Montana in Missoula, giving him what he believes to be enough experience to take action.

“I’m going into this year with the plan of taking a good look at our inventory and our needs within the department to evaluate any opportunities that present themselves,” Bretherton said. “We have to fund our operational needs as well as any capital needs that will benefit all teams and the entire community.”

Last spring, all student athletes had the opportunity to sit in on the open forum to meet and ask each of the candidates any questions they had. Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member and volleyball returner, Emily Friedrich took advantage of the opportunity to get to know each of the candidates.

“I was very glad to see to see [Bretherton] was selected,” Friedrich said. “I think he will fit in great with our community. He has been reaching out to athletes and getting to know us which I think is really awesome and represents our community well.”

The student-athlete is a huge focus for Bretherton with each of his main goals for the year revolving around Cobber student-athletes and the community.

“I’m hoping to work closely with each team to recruit the highest quality student athletes that will represent our community and teams well,” Bretherton said. “I’ve been very impressed to see our teams out showing support for one another. Seeing our athletes supporting one another and the activities within our community is great and is what makes Concordia a very special place to be.”

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