FAIRMONT—A familiar name was chosen on Monday to lead the storied Fairmont State athletic programs into the unknown of 2020 and into years to come.
Greg Bamberger, who just completed his 15th year as the Director of Athletics at Kutztown University, has been named the new Athletic Director at Fairmont State University after former AD Chad Fowler stepped down in February.
“I would like to thank President Martin for this tremendous professional opportunity,” said Bamberger. “The Fairmont State Fighting Falcons have always been a strong player in the former WVIAC and now the Mountain East Conference. I am excited to help lead this department and this University as we build on the foundation that has already been created. During my tenure as an AD in the Atlantic Region, I have had the opportunity to observe Fairmont athletics teams in action many times and they have always represented themselves admirably.”
Bamberger guided one of the most successful eras of Kutztown University athletics since his arrival in 2005. Under his direction, Kutztown won its first Dixon Trophy in 2005-06, and has finished in the Top 5 on six different occasions. The trophy is presented annually to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s most successful institution based on league playoffs and/or regular season finishes.
Bamberger’s successes at Kutztown included overseeing seven athletics programs that each made multiple NCAA Tournament appearances during his time there, including five NCAA Division II playoff appearances for the football program. Prior to Bamberger taking over in 2005, the football program had a winning record on just five occasions and didn’t record more than seven wins in any season during a 10-year stretch from 1995-2004.
Bamberger also guided Kutztown to its highest Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup finish ever when it placed 16th in 2009-10. The Golden Bears finished in the Top 50 of the Learfield standings five times and won 15 PSAC Championships under his leadership.
His biggest accomplishment during his time at Kutztown may have come when the softball program made the NCAA Division II National Championship Game in 2013. Since 2005, the softball program at KU has racked up an astonishing 10 NCAA Tournament appearances. The women’s soccer and men’s tennis programs also made eight NCAA Tournament appearances, while men’s basketball (4), women’s tennis (3), and field hockey (2) also made appearances. The Kutztown field hockey team also advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four in 2019.
In addition, Kutztown student-athletes were just as accomplished in the classroom as they were on the field. According to a 2011 report released by the NCAA, KU student-athletes topped the national student-athlete graduation rate by 17 percent, and also graduated at a higher rate than the average for students in general. As a result, the Golden Bears have produced 110 PSAC Scholar-Athletes in each of the past six years. In 2019-20, the Kutztown Athletic Department set a new record with 206 student athletes earning PSAC Scholar-Athlete honors.
The university has also produced 27 Academic All-Americans and 17 PSAC Top 10 Award winners since 2005.
“I look forward to working with the administration, coaches, support staff, and loyal Falcon fans to achieve even greater heights in the Mountain East Conference, Atlantic Region, and NCAA,” Bamberger stated.” I believe the ingredients are there for consistent success on the playing field and more importantly, in the classroom.”
Bamberger also served on several NCAA committees during his time at KU, most recently as a member of the NCAA Division II Championships Committee from 2016-20. He was also on the Division II
Academic Requirements Committee Task Force from 2011-13, was on the Division II Women’s Basketball Committee from 2008-13, and Division II Football Committee from 2004-07. He was chair of the DII Football Committee in 2006-07.
Prior to joining the Golden Bears, Bamberger held the same position at Glenville State College, a current Mountain East Conference institution, from 2002-05.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Greg Bamberger home to Fairmont State where he belongs,” said Mirta M. Martin, President of Fairmont State University. “He has an impressive record of athletics leadership, and his experience as a student-athlete, as a coach, and as an athletic director gives him special insight into what makes student-athletes and athletics programs successful. While accomplishments on the field are important to Greg, so, too, is classroom performance. I can’t think of a finer addition to the Falcon Family than Greg Bamberger, and I look forward to working with him as he leads our athletic department and helps guide our teams and student-athletes to success.”
Prior to his role as Director of Athletics, Bamberger was an assistant football coach and lecturer at Glenville State for three semesters before taking over as AD. He was the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, and offensive line coach for the Pioneers.
Bamberger also previously served as assistant football coach at Virginia Military Institute (1985-88) and Southeast Missouri State (1989-96).
He earned his Master’s degree in Sports Administration from Temple University in 1989. Prior to his time at Temple, he graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor’s degree in Management Sciences and was a three-year starter for the Blue Devils’ football team, serving as co-captain in 1981.
Bamberger was born in Abington, Pennsylvania and he and wife, Bernadette, are the parents of three children: Caitlin—assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of Findlay, Gregory—team member with Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Kendra—assistant women’s basketball coach at Frostburg State University.