Athletic Director Dan Guerrero's weekly blog takes you inside UCLA Athletics.
Michael Sondheimer is in his 36th year as a UCLA athletic administrator after graduating with honors from the UCLA with a degree in Communication Studies with Business Emphasis. He works with all 22 coaching staffs as the Associate Athletic Director--Academic Admissions Services/On-Campus Recruiting. He is involved in all aspects of the academic and admissions process for prospective student-athletes.
He also is responsible for the compliance coordination of on-campus recruiting visits and making sure all aspects of the admissions process are handled within the NCAA rules and UCLA departmental guidelines. UCLA has won 69 of its 108 NCAA titles since he became involved with the recruiting and admissions process in 1981-82.
Sondheimer and his staff assist the coaches with the pre-game picnics for Rose Bowl regular season football games and with on-campus Junior Days conducted during the basketball season, plus (all other unofficial campus visits during the academic school year).
Among Sondheimer's day-to-day academic admissions services responsibilities are assisting with the UCLA admissions process by making sure potential UCLA prospects fulfill the general academic areas such as completing the NCAA Core Classes and taking the correct admission tests. Away from those areas he helps coordinate Olympic Sport Internet Radio Broadcasts (he also does color commentary primarily on women's basketball and volleyball). He is the Executive Producer for the UCLA `BruinTalk' Cable TV Show that has been on public access television since 1979. The show can be seen in over 20 million homes throughout Southern California and the nation over the Dish Network, including the UCLABruins.com web site, UCTV over Time-Warner Cable and YouTube.com/UCLA.
In 1977, Sondheimer became the USA's first Women's Athletics Promotions Director after being the Daily Bruin Sports Editor in college. In 1985-86 he was promoted to his current position of Associate Athletic Director in charge of on-campus recruiting. In recent years he has expanded his position into assisting in areas such as student services, academics, compliance and Internet broadcasting.
Sondheimer's major non-UCLA media assignments include Media Liaison for the 1984 Olympic Games Basketball; Statistician and Researcher for NBC Sports at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games Beach and Indoor Volleyball, plus stats and stage managing at the 2012 Olympic Games; and Statistician and Researcher for TBS Sports for the Goodwill Games Volleyball in both 1990 and 1998. He was also a contributor for the NBC Olympics.com web site prior to the 2000 games in Sydney. He currently does freelance sports statistical/research work for a variety of TV networks, including ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC and the Pac-12 Network.
He was Chair of the NCAA Legislation Committee of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) from 1997-1999. He had previously served as the Vice-Chair from 1993-1997. Sondheimer has been honored 20 times by CoSIDA for his UCLA publications. He also won the 2000 AVCA Grant Burger Volleyball Media Award and 2001 USA Volleyball Douglas Boyden Media Award. He is a long-time member of the US Basketball Writers Association. His charity work includes both the Sports Spectacular and Jewish Sports Hall of Fame banquets.
He resides with his wife Barbara in West Los Angeles and they have a son, Jeffrey, in college.
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