Concordia reached back into its history to find a leader for the future.
Vice President for Finance Linda Brown announced that Rachel Bergeson ’05 has been hired as the new athletic director.
“Rachel has the knowledge, experience, and skills to provide leadership to this athletics department and to this college,” Brown said. “She has a deep commitment to Concordia, to athletics and, most importantly, to student-athletes.”
Bergeson has served as the interim athletic director since April. She also served as the interim athletic director for the 2016-17 athletic season after Rich Glas announced his retirement.
Prior to her being named as the interim athletic director, Bergeson was deputy athletics director, the senior woman administrator, and compliance officer for Concordia. Before taking on her role as the top women’s administrator for athletics, Bergeson was the assistant coach for the Cobber women’s basketball team from 2007-11.
“I am very aware of the rich and strong traditions within Cobber athletics,” Bergeson said. “I’m excited to continue with those traditions but build on new traditions and to really propel this athletic department forward in the years to come.”
Bergeson is part of one of the storied families in Concordia athletic history. Her family tree goes back decades in the Concordia athletic department. She is the daughter of Hall of Fame baseball coach Bucky Burgau who just completed his 40th season with the program. Burgau also served as equipment manager for more than 30 years.
Bergeson is also the granddaughter of Sonny Gulsvig, who was inducted into the Cobber Hall of Fame in 1995 after coaching basketball, baseball and football for 37 years.
“I was raised here (at Concordia) – going to games, cheering on our Cobbers … to having athletes rebound for me as a teenager and then becoming a student-athlete, a coach and now an administrator,” Bergeson said. “At the root of it all is that I really love this place.”
Bergeson becomes the first female athletic director in Cobber athletic history. She is only the fifth athletic director Concordia has had since 1976.
Bergeson graduated from Concordia in 2005 with a degree in biology education. She then went on to earn her master’s degree from North Dakota State University in health, nutrition and exercise science with an emphasis in sport leadership and sport pedagogy.
“I am so thankful for many, many people who have given me many opportunities that have prepared me to lead this program that I love,” Bergeson said.