AZUSA, Calif. – Incoming Director of Athletics Gary Pine has filled several positions for the Azusa Pacific University Department of Athletics, announcing changes to the roles of three current university employees effective July 1, 2011, along with the hiring of a replacement for the department’s retiring equipment manager.
Dr. Sharon Lehman becomes the Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator, Aaron Bartholomew becomes the Assistant Athletics Director after serving the university in various roles over the past two decades, and Joe Reinsch has been promoted to Sports Information Director after five years in an assistant’s role.
"In Sharon, Aaron and Joe, we have three alums in athletic leadership positions who have a deep understanding of Azusa Pacific and a passion to see this university continue to excel in both competition and academics," said Pine, who officially begins duties as Athletics Director July 1 following the retirement of current Athletics Director Bill Odell. "As I embark on my new endeavor, I have a sense of confidence because of the talent and skill of these three people surrounding me."
Bret Charleston, a former superintendent in construction, will replace Dave Dacus as equipment manager following Dacus' retirement this month.
"Bret is a terrific addition to our athletic community," Pine said. "He brings enthusiasm and experience that will add to our culture. Our student-athletes and coaches will connect with him and make him a part of their team as well."
Dr. Sharon Lehman, a member of the Cougar Athletics Hall of Fame as the 11-year head softball coach, moves into the role of Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator. Lehman, who earned a Doctor of Education degree in Sport Management from the United States Sports Academy in 2002, was previously the Assistant Director of Athletics, and she has also served as the Chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science for the past six years. The winningest coach in the history of the Golden State Athletic Conference when she retired from coaching after the 2005 season, Lehman compiled an overall collegiate record of 428-195 (.687) and was a three-time GSAC Coach of the Year. She guided the Cougars to three GSAC titles and produced 10 30-win seasons, and she was a two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association's NAIA Coach of the Year in 1997 and 2000 after leading Azusa Pacific to the 2000 NAIA championship game, a first for any GSAC school.
Lehman continued her involvement with the Department of Athletics as Assistant Athletics Director after retiring from coaching, serving in that capacity while providing leadership in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, which provides undergraduate majors in Applied Exercise Science, Athletic Training, and Physical Education, along with a minor in coaching. She will continue with her duties as the department chair in her new role, although she will no longer serve as the Program Director for Physical Education, a role she filled for the past three academic years.
Aaron Bartholomew begins his first year as the Assistant Director of Athletics after serving the university in several roles over the past two decades. Most recently, he was the Director of Auxiliary Services, overseeing the operations of numerous offices including the university bookstore, as well as mail, duplicating, and graphics services. A highly organized administrator, Bartholomew is in charge of game operations for all Azusa Pacific athletics events, managing ticket services, crowd control, and security. Bartholomew was the director of the Felix Event Center for the first eight years of the arena’s existence, managing operations for concerts, seminars, symposiums, and Cougar basketball and volleyball contests staged in the facility. He earned a master's degree in organizational leadership from Azusa Pacific in 2009.
Joe Reinsch has been promoted to Sports Information Director after spending the past five years as the Assistant Sports Information Director, during which he was the primary media contact for the Cougar volleyball, men's and women's soccer, women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, and baseball programs. Prior to joining Azusa Pacific, Reinsch spent four seasons in professional baseball (2003-06) with the Lancaster JetHawks of the California League, serving his last two years there as the Assistant General Manager. He was the Sports Information Director at California Baptist University from 2001-03. Reinsch completed his master's degree in the fall of 2010, earning an MBA from Azusa Pacific.