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Introducing Joshua Berlo, VC for Athletics & Ritchie Center Operations

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Jeremy Haefner

Letter  •

Dear DU community members,

I am very pleased to introduce Joshua “Josh” Berlo, who will join the University of Denver as our vice chancellor for athletics and Ritchie Center Operations (VCA&RCO) effective July 15.

Josh brings to our community over 20 years of experience in collegiate athletics program leadership. Since 2013, he has served as the director of intercollegiate athletics at the University of Minnesota, Duluth where he helped usher in the most successful era of the program’s history including two national ice hockey championships. Previously, Josh served as the senior assistant director for guest relations and event marketing at the University of Notre Dame for 13 years. He received his MBA from the University of Notre Dame and his Bachelor’s in sports management with a minor in economics from the University of Massachusetts.

In the VCA&RCO role, Josh is responsible for the overall operation of DU’s intercollegiate athletics program and its 18 varsity sports. He will oversee the execution of DU’s NCAA Division I events and all other events at the Ritchie Center, as well as operations at the University of Denver Golf Course at Highlands Ranch.

Josh will be the lead champion of DU’s commitment to supporting our student-athletes in their sports and, importantly, in the classroom. He will retain and recruit excellent coaches, trainers and staff, aid in fundraising to support the mission of the program and the University, and he will develop systems, budgets, and strategies that ensure the division’s integrity and success. In every aspect of the VCA&RCO role, Josh will uphold the University’s values, including our commitment to equal opportunity, diversity, inclusivity and to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all. Josh will report to me and serve on the Chancellor’s Cabinet.

“We are honored to be joining the prestigious University of Denver and its exceptional academic and athletic traditions,” says Josh. “DU offers 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.”

In his most recent role at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, Josh led the university’s program through comprehensive strategic planning and implementation while honoring the traditions beloved by the community—with the result being a stronger, more successful program. He successfully increased annual fundraising by 2500%, representing eight consecutive record years. A school known for its hockey program, the University of Minnesota Duluth advanced to the Frozen Four 4 times under his leadership. Additionally, 15 of 16 D-1 sports advanced to NCAA tournament play. His experience aligns with DU’s commitment to academic excellence, as he helped usher in eight years of high-GPA records by Minnesota’s student-athletes. Josh also fostered a culture of transparency, implementing multiple systems for student-athletes to provide feedback for improving their experience.

We are thrilled to welcome Josh to the University of Denver and we are confident he has the experience, passion, skills and exciting ideas to thrive in this role.

Josh will be joined by his wife, Meg, and their four-year-old son, Michael. Please join me in welcoming Meg, Michael and Josh to Colorado and the University of Denver.

I want to thank Karlton Creech who has served as DU’s VCA&RCO so ably since 2018. We are grateful to have had his leadership and wish him all the very best on this next phase of his career.

Finally, my sincere thanks go to Trustee and Chair-Elect John Miller and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Mary Clark, who co-chaired the search, and to the entire search committee for its very thoughtful work in conducting a successful national search in a very competitive environment.

The other members of the committee are:

  • Todd Adams, vice chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Leslie Brunelli, senior vice chancellor for Business and Financial Affairs & university treasurer
  • Jamie Franks, head coach, men’s soccer
  • Brian Gearity, associate professor & director of the MA Coach and Sports Education Program
  • Keith Miller, associate provost of graduate education
  • Val Otten, senior vice chancellor for advancement
  • Mia Sundstrom, student, Daniels College of Business, women’s gymnastics team-member
  • Kara Taczak, teaching professor, writing program
  • Christopher Whitt, vice chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Bob Willis, assistant vice chancellor of community engagement & deputy athletic director
  • With support from executive search firm Parker Executive Search
  • And administrative support from Claire Brownell, director of university protocol and assistant secretary of the Board of Trustees, Office of the Chancellor


Jeremy Haefner