Cal U tabs Hjerpe as new A.D.
California University has named Dr. Karen Hjerpe as its athletic director.
Hjerpe, who has served as interim athletic director since December 2011 when she replaced Dr. Thomas Pucci, joined the Cal U athletics staff in 1993 as head volleyball coach.
Hjerpe coached the Vulcan volleyball team from 1993-1997 before being named athletic business manager. She was promoted to associate athletic director in 2003.
As a faculty member, Hjerpe was instrumental in developing courses on compliance and gender equity in the master's degree program in sport management. She has developed guiding principles on gender equity, served on thesis committees for graduate students and led numerous search committees for coaches.
A 1991 graduate of Gannon University, Hjerpe earned her undergraduate degree in accounting. She holds master's degrees from Cal U both in business and in performance enhancement and injury prevention. In 2009, Hjerpe completed a terminal degree in instructional management and leadership at Robert Morris University.
The PSAC Athletic Directors' liaison for volleyball, Hjerpe is a former member of the NCAA Division II women's volleyball committee.
“I am humbled by the confidence in my leadership that President Jones has shown and I'm deeply appreciative of her support for Vulcan athletics,” Hjerpe says. “I am fortunate to work with a highly skilled coaching staff and a group of talented and committed student-athletes. We continue to shine on and off the field, boasting Academic All-Americans as well as athletic All-Americans.
“Our student-athletes and staff touch lives in the community through their work with the Make-A-Wish organization, Center in the Woods and local women's shelter, and by reading to elementary school students, holding canned food drives and more.
“NCAA Division II student-athletes are about balancing academics and athletics,” Hjerpe added. “Within our department, we strive to develop all aspects of our student-athletes as they prepare for success in the classroom, on the playing field and in life. As we set goals for the future, I am excited to continue the long tradition of success and develop new initiatives that will enhance our overall program.”