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Meet Brandeis’s Director of Athletics

By Zach Cihlar

Section: Sports, Top Stories

April 28, 2017

From near and afar, Lynne Dempsey ’93 religiously tracks the scores and times of Brandeis’ athletic teams. Whether she is cheering on the sidelines of the soccer field or tracking the live stats of the tennis matches inside the Gosman Athletic Center’s offices, she offers support to a network of staff, coaches and student-athletes in her role as Director of Athletics.

Dempsey herself was a three-sport athlete during her college athletic career. The Brandeis alumna contributed to the soccer, basketball and softball programs, earning her the Max I. Silber Award for the top female athlete during her senior year.

Since then, Dempsey has remained in Gosman Athletic Center. “I really never left after I graduated,” she said. Dempsey spent her first year out of college as an assistant coach for two teams, before being offered a full-time position in the spring of 1994. In that full-time position, she was an assistant facility manager of Gosman working in the equipment room until she was promoted to daytime facility manager.

Each new position she worked in after college allowed her to see how Gosman and Brandeis athletics ran from all facets of the facility. She attributes her versatility and growth to nurturing supervisors who gave her “the opportunity to grow and learn.”

After serving in an associate role for a few years, the Director of Athletics position opened, and “it seemed like a nice transition,” she said. Dempsey was hesitant to accept, however, because she wanted to retain a relationship with the student-athletes she served. “If I wasn’t going to have that exposure and those connections, I was really concerned,” she said of the position. But she did know she could handle the responsibilities the position entailed.

As a compromise, Dempsey spent a year training for the directorship in order to understand the implications of the position and test to see how often the position would allow her contact with the student-athletes. “During that interim year, I was able to make sure that with all the responsibilities that I would have, I would still get to know the names and faces of people, still get to go to the games, still meet the student-athletes, then I was all in,” she recalled.

Dempsey accepted the director of athletics position in 2011, and has since hosted the first two rounds of the soccer NCAA’s and the NCAA national fencing tournament. As director, Dempsey serves as the school’s NCAA compliance officer, deals with corporate partnerships, works as a liaison between the student-athletes and the other offices at Brandeis, supports students and coaching staff and oversees the administrative operations of the Gosman facility.

Despite having all these responsibilities, Dempsey’s favorite part of the job is still building relationships with student-athletes and attending events. “Not only am I cheering for my own alma mater, but I’m also cheering for the student-athletes,” Dempsey said. “And to get to know them on a personal level, so that you have the extra piece to it, is awesome.”

Her most vivid memories of her time in the position have always been the successes of the student-athletes. Among others, she mentioned the gleeful realization she felt when the buzzer went off, advancing the women’s soccer team to the Final Four in the 2016 season. After a back-and-forth game, she recalled the women keeping their head held high until the final shot was scored.

These are the moments that Dempsey lives for as Director of Athletics. The pride she feels has been ingrained in her since her time as an undergraduate at Brandeis. After years of experience and time spent at athletic events and in the facilities, it is safe to infer that Gosman is Dempsey’s home, and she’s here to serve the student-athletes.

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