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Concordia Athletic Director and Head Softball Coach Crystal Rosenthal receives Game Changer Award

Concordia Athletic Director and Head Softball Coach Crystal Rosenthal receives Game Changer Award

IRVINE, Calif. (March 25, 2022) – Concordia University Irvine athletic director and head softball coach Crystal Rosenthal received the 2022 Women of Influence: Game Changer Award on Thursday. The Greater Irvine Chamber recognized Rosenthal as one of twelve women honored at the annual Women of Influence event that recognizes and empowers women to lead and succeed in their lives, businesses, and communities.

The Game Changer Award is presented to a woman who has developed a concept, idea, or procedure that affects a significant shift in the current doing or thinking about something. Her ideas have had a positive impact on her industry or the community.

Rosenthal has proven to be a game-changer in so many ways — as a student-athlete, as a coach, as a proud alum, as a leader of the entire Concordia athletic department and the Pacwest Conference.

“There is no one more deserving of this award than Crystal,” said Andrea Riche, Associate Athletic Director of Compliance at Concordia University Irvine. “She pursues excellence in everything she does, is a natural-born leader, and has proven her softball team to be a national contender every year. She spends countless hours pouring into our student-athletes, coaches, and staff and has been a true game-changer to our department. We couldn’t be more proud!”

Rosenthal earned her bachelor's in history and political science from Concordia, graduating in 2000, and went on to earn her master's in coaching and athletic administration in 2006. As a former softball player and team captain, she later became the head coach of CUI softball in 2009.

In 2020, when Rosenthal was named Concordia University Irvine’s interim athletic director during COVID lockdowns, the athletic department’s response and strategy helped Concordia University Irvine set the standard for operating sports programs safely during a season of restrictions. Concordia University Irvine was the only university in the PacWest conference’s SoCal area to bring student-athletes back to campus as early as it did, starting practices months before anyone else.

“Her character, commitment, and Christ-centered approach has helped us navigate these unchartered waters and confirmed what we already knew. She is the right person at the right time to lead Concordia University Irvine Athletics into the future,” said Tim Odle, Vice President of Athletics and Facilities, when Rosethenal was announced as Concordia University Irvine’s Athletic Director. 

Rosenthal has not only been a pivotal force in dealing with the pandemic but has also led the softball team to multiple conference championships and a national championship. The softball team began the 2022 season for the fourth straight year, ranked in the NFCA DII Top 25 Coaches Preseason Poll. The CUI softball team has been ranked No. 2 in the entire nation for four consecutive weeks. 

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