Saint Joseph High School announces new athletic director

SOUTH BEND — Saint Joseph High School announced that Debbie Landreth Brown is the new athletic director. She will replace Eric Gohlke, effective July 1.

“I’m thankful to Susan Richter for giving me this opportunity and am honored to accept it. Saint Joseph High School has a talented and dedicated group of coaches and student-athletes, and I look forward to working with them. I’m passionate about the value of interscholastic athletics and believe that my past experiences have prepared me well to lead and assist others, and to support the mission, vision and values of SJHS. I’m looking forward to future growth and success as we continue to strive for excellence in all we do,” said Brown.

“This opportunity is especially exciting because of my familiarity with Saint Joe and South Bend. My sons attended the school and had wonderful academic and athletic experiences, and I have lived here for 25 years and found this to be a tremendous community in which to raise a family. Now, to serve Saint Joe and the community in a new capacity is a true blessing,” continued Brown.

Brown served as head women’s volleyball coach at the University of Notre Dame for 24 years. Her distinguished coaching career included 11-time Conference Coach of the Year (Pacific 10, Midwestern Collegiate, Big East), five-time Region/District Coach of the Year, 15 conference titles (regular season), 13 conference tournament champion titles, 27 winning seasons, 22 NCAA championship appearances, including 15 straight, and a 636-330 career record (.658 winning percentage).

Equally impressive are her playing career and awards, including co-captain of the 1980 Olympic team, a two-time winner of the Mikasa Award (best all around player in the United States), captain of two USC National Championship teams, eight-time USA Volleyball All-American, and the USA Volleyball All-Time Great Player Award (1995).

“A faith-filled woman of impeccable integrity, Debbie Brown will be a valuable mentor for our coaches and a staunch advocate for our student-athletes. I am confident that she will be an extraordinary leader and role model for our athletic department. She is a woman of tremendous gifts and talents. Saint Joseph High School is honored to have her join our administrative team, sharing her knowledge and passion for education and athletics as our new athletic director,” said Saint Joseph High School Principal Susan Richter.

Eric Gohlke supervised the Saint Joseph athletic program from 2005-2016.

“The Saint Joseph High School administration, faculty, staff and students are grateful to Eric Gohlke for his hard work, dedication to the school mission, and support of student athletes for the past 11 years,” said Richter.

Under Gohlke’s leadership, Saint Joseph High School earned 28 NIC championships, 68 sectional titles, 28 regional titles, nine semi-state titles, two state titles including to individual titles in boys’ swimming and one individual title in girls’ swimming.

Posted on February 23, 2016, to: