Deborah Surgi • United States of America
Deborah Surgi relocated from New Orleans to Moorestown Friends School in 1996 to head the sports department, making her the first female athletic director in Burlington County, New Jersey. Seven new sports and 14 new teams were added during her tenure, and she was a member of the project committee for a new Arts and Athletic Field House. Deb was on the senior administrative team at Baldwin and was in charge of the interscholastic athletic and physical education program. She was an active part of the project team that raised $25 million for the athletic facility at Baldwin and formed the Blue Gray Parent Club. She worked to build a ten-year sports strategic plan with input from all stakeholders and developed targets to enhance program sustainability via her engagement throughout the institution. She was in charge of the physical education department and 67 coaching jobs at Baldwin. She also coached their varsity volleyball team, which had a 20-12 record over two years, including one tournament title and two straight postseason appearances. She won Baldwin's Award for Exemplary Service in 2018 during her stay there.
Deb has coached All-District, All-State, State MVPs, All-Academic, Scholarship Athletes, and two All-Americans. Her athletes went on to teach and coach at the elementary, middle, high, and college levels, as well as in the business sector. Deb was one of the first Title IX collegiate scholarship athletes at the University of New Orleans, where she played basketball and volleyball. She was a part of the Delta Regional Championship Team of the United States Volleyball Association (USVBA) during her undergraduate career (1972 - 1982). She also represented the University of Texas in Arlington at the national level for the AAU and USVBA Nationals. In 1981, she was designated a Sugar Bowl Athlete, and she graduated with the greatest hitting (spiking) % in team history, as well as being selected All-Conference in Louisiana. She was invited to join Drexel University's adjunct faculty in the Master's Program in Sports Administration after serving as a guest lecturer at Temple University's Graduate School of Sports Administration.