For Day Four of Women in Sports Week, Sports Editor Dan Madigan talked with UConn Athletics Chief Operating Officer Beth Goetz, who is a a few months away from wrapping up her first year at UConn. Prior to coming to Storrs, Goetz spent time at Missouri-St.Louis, Butler and Minnesota before joining athletic director David Benedict’s staff in June of 2016. In her interview, Goetz touches on her role at UConn, the success of UConn’s women’s programs and the future of UConn athletics.
DM: You’re UConn’s senior woman administrator (SWA). What does that entail?
BG: So Senior Woman Administrator is actually just a designation, it’s not a job responsibility. That’s a designation that was created by the NCAA and is given to the senior most woman in an organization. There are some similarities from institution to institution in terms of certainly being an advocate for women and those types of things, but it’s not a responsibility in and of itself. That designation though does give you a place in the governance structure of the NCAA, meaning conferences have SWA designations, there’s also slots in NCAA committees that can be filled by someone with an SWA designation.
DM: You serve as the chief operating officer of UConn athletics. What is an average day of work like for you?
BG: I have lots of meetings. I oversee a lot of internal operations. Everything from the business, HR-type things, facilities projects, event management, liaison with academics – so it’s a lot of what happens each and every day, sort of the behind the scenes components, which results in a lot of meetings, typically. You get a lot of work done in terms of following procedures, creating policy and sort of navigating the annual cycle of sports. We all work with every sport to some extent but we do have some sport-specific responsibilities. I oversee football, for example, and I have a handful of other sports as well. So depending on that cycle, it can certainly change your day-to-day. And then I’m part of David (Benedict’s) leadership team. We’re engaged in sort of the big picture conversations and implementing the strategic vision for the department.
DM: What’s it like to be a part of that leadership team with Benedict and Vic Cegles?
BG: I’ve actually been very fortunate in my career, I’ve worked with very empowering athletic directors and he’s one of them. He engages us in the process and wants feedback and input. That’s a really fun team to be a part of. He includes us as much as he can, whether it’s in our area or not, we get to be involved in those conversations and that’s a great opportunity for us to be a part of the vision.
DM: You’re approaching the end of your first year at UConn. What have you liked about it so far, and what gets you excited for the future?
BG: I don’t know what’s not to like about college athletics, and then the opportunity to do that at UConn is just incredible. I think anything starts with people. We all do what…