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Berg Named Pensacola Sportsman of the Year

April 16, 2007

PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Pensacola Sports Association named University of West Florida Athletic Director, Richard Berg, the 2006 Pensacola Sportsman of the Year at the PSA Annual Awards Banquet on Friday night at the New World Landing.

Mr. Richard Berg joined The University of West Florida in July, 1988 as Director of Athletics where he inherited a young, but competitive athletic program. Under his leadership the program has grown from nine sport teams and a budget of just under $500,000 to 14 sports teams and a budget of over $3 million today. During his tenure, UWF has hosted seven national championship tournaments. In November 2006, West Florida hosted the NCAA Division II Fall Sports Championships.

A native of New York, Mr. Berg received a B.A. from Mansfield University in 1964 and a M.A. in Sociology from Adelphi University in 1972. He has worked in athletic administration for 35 years at the NAIA, NCAA Division I and II levels; 28 of those years were as an athletic director. He also coached men's basketball for 20 years. Berg has served on many NAIA and NCAA committees, and just finished a tenure as the South Region Chair of the NCAA Men's Basketball Committee.

Mr. Berg is internationally renowned for his work in promoting athletics and health and fitness. He has lectured in sixteen different countries and was among the first American coaches to speak at the Physical Education Institute in Budapest, Hungary when the country was behind the Iron Curtain. He has also been extremely active in International Sports and the Olympic movement over the past twenty-five years. He was involved in the National Sports Festival in 1978 and, since coming to Pensacola, has been active with sports in Northwest Florida. He was among the Pensacola News Journal Top 10 Coaches/Administrators of the 1990s.

In 1998, Richard Berg was inducted into the Pensacola Sports Association Hall of Fame, and he was inducted into the Dowling College Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2002, he received the Marion Viccars Prize by The University of West Florida.

The sportsman of the year is presented to someone who has contributed most to the advancement of sports, in the greater Pensacola area, or has achieved some outstanding athletic accomplishment.

Berg is retiring this summer. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Sandy, and the couple have three grown children and five grandchildren.

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