This fall, Brandeis Director of Athletics Sheryl Sousa ’90 was promoted to senior associate vice president for student affairs, while Lynne Dempsey ’93, formerly senior associate athletic director will serve as the acting athletic director. Dempsey will succeed Sousa after serving as her top assistant for the past 11 years.
As associate athletic director, Dempsey oversaw day-to-day operations, and in the past decade has seen the athletics program and staff significantly grow, and feels very proud to be part of these positive changes. In recent years the athletics department has added several professional staff members and increased the ability to offer a variety of programming and support for all Brandeis students.
While a student at Brandeis, Dempsey was a three-sport athlete who starred in soccer, basketball and softball. During her senior year, she earned the program’s Max I. Silber Award as top female athlete. In 1994, after spending a year as a part-time employee with the Judges, she returned to her alma mater fulltime and has served the department of athletics in several capacities since. She has been the senior associate director of athletics since 2011.
The Brandeis Hoot was able to conduct an email interview with Dempsey to discover more about her history with Brandeis and her transition into her new role. In the interview, Dempsey detailed a particular memory that has stuck with her since her collegiate career. During her senior soccer season, there was a first-year goalie who arrived injured, and with no other goal keeper, her coach asked Dempsey to fill the position even though she had no experience in that position. Dempsey said that despite it being nerve wracking at first, this experience allowed her to see the game and reinforced “that you always have to do things for the greater good of the team.”
Dempsey believes that her experience as a student-athlete for Brandeis has helped her during her career in the athletic department. It’s with the goal of wanting student-athletes to have the best experience possible in mind that she tries to get to know many student-athletes so that she can have a more personal and genuine understanding of who they are and why they are excited to be part of the athletics program.
This year, Dempsey would like to mobilize the athletic programs even more, with the hopes of higher engagement in the campus community and promoting the student-athletes who compete for Brandeis. “It’s one thing to publicize games and events, which is obviously important, but I want to try and promote a greater understanding of who we are and what we do,” Dempsey said. She would also like to connect with alumni and bring them back to campus more regularly. Dempsey’s long-term vision for the Brandeis Athletics community is to support the coaches so that the Judges can be competitive locally in the UAA and at the NCAA level. The ultimate goal is to compete for a national championship which will cause Dempsey to advocate for beneficial improvements of facilities, recruiting and budgets.
Dempsey’s passion and enthusiasm for the athletics program is clear. “During the past 10 years, Sheryl Sousa was able to make a lot of significant improvements to our overall program, and I will look to build upon what she has done. I see this role as a chance to advocate in a new way, and build new relationships to help bolster the future of Brandeis Athletics.”