The University of Denver has announced the hiring of the University of Minnesota Duluth Athletic Director Josh Berlo as its next Vice Chancellor of Athletics and Operations at the Ritchie Center.

“My family is honored to join the prestigious University of Denver and its exceptional academic and athletic traditions,” said Berlo. “DU provides a world-class experience for our student-athletes, coaches and staff, and I look forward to contributing to that experience as well as the overall institutional mission.”

Berlo came to UMD in 2013 from the University of Notre Dame after a 13-year tenure and has since led the Bulldogs to higher levels of excellence that include multiple national and conference championships, record academic achievements, significant improvements to facilities, marketing and fan engagement as well as a strategic focus on the student-athlete experience.

“I’m sad for UMD, but proud Josh Berlo as he becomes the next Vice Chancellor of Athletics at the University of Denver,” said UMD Chancellor Dr. Lendley Black. “Josh has done an amazing job as the UMD AD for the past nine years. It leaves our athletics programs in great shape, with a solid foundation on which to build even further. UMD Athletics is on an impressive track record of academic and competitive excellence. Thanks to Josh for his excellent service to UMD and the Duluth community. We will miss him.”

Since his arrival, Berlo has hired eight coaches covering 11 of UMD’s 16 university programs. Six of those coaches took their teams to NCAA postseason competition and two were named national or conference coach of the year (Maura Crowell – women’s hockey, 2017 national coach of the year and Mandy Pearson – women’s basketball, conference coach of the year in 2020). Additionally, 15 of the 16 Bulldog teams made it to the NCAA Tournament during Berlo’s nine years directing the department and all excelled in the classroom, community and competition.

Under Berlo’s leadership, Bulldog Athletics also furthered its history of women leading UMD athletics programs and was honored in 2016 with an “A” rating by the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sports.

For these and other Bulldogs Athletics accomplishments, Berlo was named the 2018 NCAA Division II Athletic Director of the Year.

As UMD’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Berlo oversaw UMD’s coaches, staff and administrative staff and was responsible for the Bulldogs’ nearly 400 student-athletes. He also developed and implemented the strategic plan, managed an annual departmental budget of approximately $12 million, directed the use of UMD’s athletic facilities, and led fundraising and marketing efforts.

Highlighted achievements of Bulldog Athletics under Berlo’s leadership are listed below:


  • UMD’s nearly 400 student-athletes — including redshirt freshmen — have collectively recorded an all-time high GPA in seven of the past nine years — with a new 2020-21 record of 3.44.
  • UMD Athletics has won over 900 All-Conference Academic Honors (NSIC, WCHA and NCHC) and over 50 NSIC Myles Brand Academic Award Winners.
  • UMD held the distinction of producing more NSIC Elite 18 Award recipients than any other member institution in 2017-18 (six student-athletes). The NSIC Elite 18 Award is awarded to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative point average participating in the final venue for each of the 18 NSIC championships.
  • The Jamar Athletic Academic Study Center, which is housed in the UMD Sports and Health Center complex, was recently renovated with enhanced enhancements to student-athlete academic support through a partnership with the Jamar Company (and in memory of Walker Jamar Jr. ), continues to pay big dividends for the Bulldogs in the classroom. This space now includes a group study room and an adjacent Academic Advisor office for student-athletes.


  • UMD student-athletes and staff have continued to give back to the Duluth community over the years. Bulldogs have steadily increased volunteer hours in the local community from over 2,000 hours per year (2013-14) to over 4,500 hours per year (2018-19).
  • In addition, the UMD Athletics Mission and Vision Statement, was revamped in 2014 and most recently updated in 2020. This remains a critical guide to the future of Bulldog Athletics and a clear statement of the Athletics Department’s values.
  • Through the sale of UMD camouflage hats and commemorative coins, along with individual donations, UMD raised over $80,000 for Operation One Voice as part of the Bulldogs’ annual Military Appreciation Nights. Operation One Voice is a program developed by veterans, law enforcement, firefighters, and community leaders to generate funds to help support the immediate needs of injured and fallen Special Operations Forces children and families.
  • UMD won the first NSIC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Cup in 2017-18 and again in 2021-22. Highlights of the UMD year included raising more than $10,000 for Make-A-Wish, participating in all three NSIC SAAC initiatives, and involving the campus community in its regular SAAC meetings.
  • The NCAA has appointed Berlo to a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey Committee effective September 1, 2020, in addition to leading the NCHC and WCHA conference commissioner searches for the past two years.


  • 21 regular season championships and total conference tournaments (NSIC and NCHC) have been achieved in the last nine years.
  • Bulldog men’s hockey won two National Championships (2018 and 2019 — only the third team in 47 years to win consecutive NCAA men’s hockey championships) as part of an incredible streak of four consecutive Frozen Four appearances (including three championships). consecutive appearances in the game).
  • The UMD men’s and women’s hockey programs reached their respective NCAA Frozen Fours in the same season for the first time in their history during the 2020-21 season. UMD women’s hockey made it to the NCAA championship game last season.
  • UMD women’s hockey alumni won 2018 Olympic gold with Maddie Rooney and Sidney Morin as key contributors to the US women’s hockey team that defeated Canada 3-2 at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
  • The Bulldog men’s hockey program won its sixth Hobey Baker Memorial Award (the highest in college hockey) winner in Scott Perunovich (2020).
  • Additionally, UMD has won three individual national championships in women’s track and field (Samantha Rivard in 2014, Emi Trost in 2017 and Danielle Kohlwey in 2019).
  • The top five national rankings were obtained by women’s volleyball, soccer, women’s cross country, men’s hockey and women’s hockey – including extended periods at first in women’s volleyball and men’s hockey.
  • UMD Athletics has produced more than 100 All-Americans across 16 programs since 2014.
  • UMD Men’s Hockey saw its 65th former bulldog skate in the National Hockey League.

Other achievements

  • Bulldog Athletics is ranked annually in NCAA Division I in the top three in women’s hockey, top five in men’s hockey, and top ten in Division II women’s volleyball.
  • On the fundraising front, UMD Athletics has generated more than $15 million over the past ten years and hit the $1 million annual fundraising milestone each year during Berlo’s tenure. Prior to Berlo’s arrival, the Bulldogs had never reached the $1 million annual grossing mark.
  • UMD Athletics has hosted several high-profile events with the Duluth community seeing the direct economic impact. In 2017, the Bulldogs hosted their first College Hockey Inc., the Ice Breaker Tournament, which drew over 13,000 fans over the weekend. The Bulldogs once again hosted in the fall of 2021. The Ice Breaker Tournament is college hockey’s premier kick-off event for the season, which brings together four of the top programs in the country, typically from different conferences.
  • Bulldog’s marketing team has won over 21 awards for their innovative marketing efforts with the “Best of” awards from the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) over the past nine years.
  • The Bulldogs have also hosted the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Outdoor Athletics Championships twice – which hosts 27 teams and over 800 student-athletes over a 3-day period in May. This event produces an economic, media and local community impact of over US$500,000 with each hosting.
  • A $10 million renovation of the Romano Gymnasium that included a new state-of-the-art gaming surface, bleachers, addition of a $350,000 LED HD video scoreboard, lighting and sound system, central production room for broadcasting to Regional TV and a host of aesthetic additions.
  • The Bulldog Scholarship fundraising phase for the benefit of all UMD Athletics programs led by the 2016 Goldberg Scholarship Challenge, raising over $1.5 million for Athletic Scholarships.
  • In addition, the total donation of athletic scholarships was tripled to approximately $5 million. Donor-funded renovations and scholarship funding initiatives have included: the Jamar Academic Center for Student-Athletes, the Seyfer Bulldog Team Room and Video Suite, the HB Hanna Home Coaches Booth, the Erickson Athletics Reception, the Mike Sertich Head Men’s Hockey Coaches Office, the Superior Beverages Club Lounge, Justin Faulk Hockey Athletic Training Office, Dave and Doris Walter Softball Locker Room, and Farrell Family Athletics Business Center.
  • In addition, new scoreboards were installed at Junction Field and Bulldog Park, benefiting UMD’s softball and baseball programs.
  • It recently honored half a century of Bulldog Women’s Athletics with the 50 for 50 Women’s Athletics Initiative, which included a year-long celebration and the creation of a specific grant for women’s athletics.
  • Expanded Bulldog Athletics coverage through KDAL, My9, CBSS, BSN, NCHC, WCHA and NSIC partnerships, resulting in more games streamed and streamed on bigger platforms with better production quality than ever before.
  • Enhanced strategic partnerships such as Essentia Health and Under Armour benefit the Bulldog student-athlete health, wellness and competitive advantage.
  • Bulldog Locker Room renovations of UMD football, women’s volleyball, women’s basketball and men’s basketball, women’s football, women’s tennis and softball.
  • Strategic planning investments for the future of Bulldog athletics with the creation of Bulldogs 2025.
  • UMD athletic sponsorship and ticket revenue topped the $3 million mark six times (all records).

See below all the achievements by year under Berlo’s leadership in Bulldog athletics:

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