From University of Rochester Athletics
Andrea Golden, longtime coach and then athletic administrator at the University of Rochester, will retire at the end of the academic year. Her last day in the office will be Friday, June 29.
Her retirement concludes a career that spanned more than 37 years on the collegiate level with much success on a national level – both as a coach and as an administrator. She began at Smith College in Massachusetts, moved to Ithaca College, followed by one year at Harvard before moving to Rochester.
In 15 years at Ithaca, she worked as the head coach of women's lacrosse and as an assistant coach in field hockey. Ithaca won the 1982 NCAA Division III National Championship in field hockey and appeared in the NCAA playoffs 13 times in 15 seasons. She served on the NCAA national committee for women's lacrosse for seven years (1987-93), helping the sport gain recognition throughout the nation.
Golden came to the University as its women's lacrosse coach in 1997. She spent seven years on the sidelines before moving into an administrator's role. She worked as the Associate Director of Athletics from September, 2003 to the present.
"Professional and personal timing is complex," Golden said of her decision to retire. "Being mindful of everything that surrounds the daily operation, it is important to be able to transition talented individuals into new opportunities for the department as a whole."
Although she put aside her coaching clipboard following the 2003 women's lacrosse season at Rochester, Golden's administrative role kept her busy with NCAA post-season appearances and numerous conference championships, including the University Athletic Association and the Liberty League.
Since the start of the 2003-04 athletic seasons, 17 of Rochester's 23 varsity sports have participated on the national championships level – either in the NCAA playoffs or in the College Squash Association team and individual championships.
"Andrea has been instrumental part of our program development over the past 15 years," said George VanderZwaag, the University's Executive Director of Athletics. "She followed a tremendous coaching career by making a huge, positive impact on thousands of students in her administrative role. We are deeply indebted to her for her service to our programs and the University."
As the primary administrator for varsity teams, Golden ran monthly coaches' meetings, covering a wide swath of topics from recruiting to admissions to department policy as well as UAA and Liberty League rulings plus NCAA legislation. She prepared detailed bids for NCAA championship committees to study in hopes of securing hosting opportunities. She served on Rochester's Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, on countless coaching-search committees, and facility planning committees. It was far from a traditional 9-to-5 job.
"The department has outstanding administrative leadership and dedicated educators with strong expertise and multiple talents which creates a very powerful entity moving forward," Golden said. "The evolution of a department and its commitment to contribute to the academic mission of The College will continue."
Golden played lacrosse at Bridgewater (MA) State College (now University). She taught junior high school for two years and entered the coaching field guiding ninth graders in field hockey, basketball, and softball. After earning a master's degree at Penn State, she was named the interim head coach at Smith College in Massachusetts. She left to teach physical education at Ithaca College where she coached lacrosse, field hockey, and swimming.
She spent 15 years at Ithaca, accumulating a record of 123-88. She was named the Division III National Women's Lacrosse Coach of the Year as well as the New York State Coach of the Year. Golden directed Ithaca to NCAA playoff appearances in 1989 and 1993, three ECAC Mid-Atlantic playoff spots (championships in 1988 and 1989), two spots in the USWLA tournament and two appearances in the AIAW championships (forerunner of the NCAA women's championships). Ithaca inducted Golden into its Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.
Following the 1995 season, Golden left Ithaca for an assistant coach's role at Harvard. She became Rochester's head coach in the 1996-97 academic year. She led Rochester to a national ranking for three years, won a New York State title in 2002, had one All-American, and one Academic All-American. Her coaching record at Rochester was 65-44. She is Rochester's career leader in lacrosse coaching victories.
Coaching at Rochester appealed to Golden. "There were two factors," she said. "To be able to coach and re-establish the women's varsity lacrosse program was critical and, at the time, the University of Rochester Athletic and Recreation Department was 'a diamond in the rough', a hidden gem that should be expected to set a higher standard of athletic performance within a positive framework. "
She had collateral duties at Rochester overseeing R-Club, a health and fitness organization open to the campus community. And she took on game management responsibilities.
"It's been a pleasure to work alongside Andrea," VanderZwaag said. "She has always had the best interests of our students at heart, and has been fully committed to providing them the best educational experience possible. She has brought a wealth of understanding to her job based on varied experience at multiple institutions."
Golden was honored by the Rochester Press-Radio Club in 2016 with its Jean Giambrone Award. It is given to a person who has made an exemplary lifetime commitment to local women's sports. Ms. Giambrone was a 1942 graduate of the University of Rochester who wrote for the Rochester Times-Union and became popularly known as 'Rochester's First Lady of Sports'.
"There is no easy way for us to express our gratitude for all that she has meant to our programs," VanderZwaag said. "We know we are better for her service. She has provided us a clear path forward to build on her great work, so it is with a full heart that we say farewell and wish her all the best in the next stage of her life."
It can be challenging to walk away from something you love doing. "What will I miss?" Golden asks. "The enormous core of people (staff and students) who drive the everyday work at all hours, day and night, week after week."
And for the same reasons, the University will miss her.