A LIST OF LONG BEACH STATE'S ATHLETICS DIRECTORS
Dr. Jack Montgomery, 1949-64 (15 years)
Montgomery was the university's first athletics director. Lured in 1951 from UCLA, where he had been an athlete, teacher and head coach, Montgomery hired the school's first coaches... Mike DeLotto (football), Earl Kidd (basketball, tennis) and Walter Crowe (track). Montgomery stepped down as athletics director and director of Heath, Physical Education and Recreation after 13 years in 1964, but continued coaching the 49er golf team through 1971. His last team won a SoCal Championship. Montgomery retired, professor emeritus, in 1973 and passed away in 1982 in Bend, OR. His three sons, Dick, Don and Mike, were all athletes at Long Beach State and continued the family tradition, coaching following their graduations. His son, Mike, was also inducted into the LBSU Hall of Fame.
Dr. Walter C. Crowe, 1964-67 (3 years)
A number of first's happened during Crowe's tenure as athletics director taking over for his former boss, Jack Montgomery, in 1964 after Montgomery hired Crowe as the school's first track coach. Crowe oversaw the first women's volleyball team in 1964 and the first women's golf team a year later. The 49ers won their first conference title in baseball in 1964 and in track in 1965. The school's first national title, in track and field, would come in 1967. The 1964 Olympic Games were full of 49ers, as 14 athletes called The Beach home
Dr. Fred Miller, 1967-71 (4 years)
Jim Stangeland... Don Gambril... Jerry Tarkanian... Fred Miller hired all of them during his tenure as athletics director at Long Beach State. In 1970, Miller's final year at Long Beach State, 49er teams won seven Pacific Coast Athletic Association champinships. Miller left Long Beach for Arizona State, where he was athletics director for eight years. While there, Miller added 10 women's sports to what had been an 11-sport, all-male athletic program. He was also in charge of San Diego State's athletics department in the 1980's. He is also a member of the National Association of Collegiate Athletics Directors Hall of Fame.
Bob Wuesthoff (1971)-interim
The 49ers baseball coach served as the interim director of athletics in between Miller and Comer.
Dr. Lew Comer, 1971-74 (4 years)
Comer administered the athletic program at Long Beach State for three years (1972-75) during the NCAA Probationary Period. He was responsible for responding to changes and effecting changes mandated by the NCAA. He remained as a professor of the Department of Physical Education for several years after. The men's basketball team became a power nationally, reaching three NCAA Tournaments, football reached its own post-season bowl, cross country dominated the conference. It was also the beginning of Title-IX, as two national titles came to the women's volleyball program. The 1972 Olympics saw success (Gunnar Larsson) and shock (Ed Ratleff) by two of its former stars. Men's water polo would show its dominace throughout the decade. The school also saw a number of changes, moving from a college to a university.
Perry Moore, 1974-82 (8 years)
Perry was the 49ers' athletic director for eight years during a time when the 49ers produced 18 Olympians (for the 1976 Games), but he and his wife, Pearl had unmatched support of 49er athletics, both financially and emotionally. They are corporate sponsors of the 49er Foundation and were the first lifetime members of the organization. In 1990 they received the Presidents Award for outstanding commitment to the university and community. The 49ers saw the re-shaping of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association and the hey day for track and field with Dwight Stones and Kate Schmidt and swimming with Tim Shaw. The women's basketball program took off in the late 1970's under Joan Bonvicini to become a national power, while the men's basketball program reached No. 2 nationally in 1982. The football team also had a string of success, going 15-7 as the decade changed over from 1979 to 1980. LBSU also started the women's programs of track (1977-78), softball (1981) and women's soccer (1983).
Corey Van Fleet, 1982-84 (3 years)
Van Fleet was hired in September, 1982 and quickly launched a major promotional campaign to bring greater visibility to the department through increased community involvement. Athletically, the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference became more regionalized with the addition of schools like Hawaii and New Mexico State, and is the first conference to host women's athletics championships in the West. LaTaunya Pollard dominates in women's basketball, as so do the 49ers.
John Kasser, 1984-87 (3 years)
Kasser took over the reigns of the department in August, 1984 from the University of Houston, and spent the next three years at Long Beach State. As the Olympics raced through Los Angeles, so did the 49ers as women's volleyball and softball became national powers. Tara Cross began in dominance of the net, while softball reached its first College World Series in 1986. Women's Basketball reached its highest level, reaching the Final Four for the first of two seasons in 1987.
Corey Johnson, 1987-91 (4 years)
Johnson spent three years at The Beach, beginning on April 6, 1987 as the second youngest athletics director in school history at age 40. Johnson administered facility improvements in track, the baseball field, tennis courts and the expansion of the weight room. He took over a budget deeply in debt and increased the department's fundraising to over $500,000 and a foundation membership of over 1200. During his tenure, the 49ers won its first NCAA Championship in women's volleyball, appeared in its first College Baseball World Series, both in 1989, men's volleyball won an NCAA title in 1991 and facing a 20-percent state cut in March, Johnson made the the tough choice and dropped men's and women's swimming, men's tennis and men's golf. Golf survived with a last-minute push in June.
Dave O'Brien, 1991-96 (5 years)
The man behind the opening of the Walter Pyramid in 1994, O'Brien spent five years at The Beach, as the 49ers six "targeted" sports won a combined 60 percent of their contests. Men's Basketball reached the NCAA Tournament in 1993 and 1995, while the the baseball team reached the College World Series in 1993. Women's volleyball reached three-straight NCAA Final Fours from 1991 to 1993, culminating in the national championship in 1993, and the softball program was a two-time regional champions and reached three-straight CWS from 1991 to 1993.
Bill Shumard, 1996-2005 (9 years)
For nine years Shumard took the athletic program in a new direction from its "targeted sports" philosophy to a broad-based forum, thanks to the Spring 2000 Student Referendum which brought nearly $1 million each year to the Department of Athletics providing full scholarship monies to complement all varsity sports. The budget for the Department of Athletics grew from $5 million to $9.4 million. Shumard spearheaded capital projects and improvements estimated at $4.5 million and a $600,000 campaign to complete the basketball offices in The Pyramid, a project that was completed in the fall of 2001. Long Beach State finished in the Top-100 in five of the nine years in the Director's Cup standings. In the 1998-99 standings, Long Beach State finished tied for 43rd place. LBSU added the sports of women's water polo (Spring 1998) and women's soccer (Fall 1998) under his reign. Teams won NCAA titles in 1998 for women's volleyball and reached the College World Series in baseball that same year. Men's Volleyball twice reached the finals, in 1999 and 2004. Softball, women's tennis and women's water polo each had their most succesful seasons near the end of his tenure. In addition, Shumard worked with LBSU Alumnus Mick Ukleja to create "Leadership Traq at The Beach," a leadership training program for student-athletes.
Cindy Masner, 2005-06-interim (1 year)
The 49ers senior woman's administrator and senior associate athletics director served as interim director for the 2005-06 athletic season in between Shumard and Vic Cegles
Vic Cegles , 2006-Present
In four seasons as the Director of Athletics at Long Beach State Vic Cegles has overhauled the 49er athletic department and provided a new path for the department to follow. Cegles, who was hired as the school's 12th Director of Athletics in April 2006, has already made an impact in the athletic department's ability to fundraise which is key to his goal of making Long Beach State, not only the premiere school in the Big West Conference, but a player on the national stage when it comes to both athletics and academics. Since coming to Long Beach State, Cegles has restructured the annual establishing the 49er Athletic Club. The centralized fundraising approach recognizes both sport specific gifts and scholarship contributions supporting all 18 intercollegiate teams.