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Former Ute softball star Charmelle Green now making an impact as Penn State's senior female athletic administrator

Published: Thursday, July 3 2014 5:00 p.m. MDT

Editor's note: This is the second of an occasional series spotlighting former athletes with ties to the state of Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY — Charmelle Green knows a thing or two about making an impact. As a softball player at the University of Utah, Green was a four-time all-conference honoree and a two-time All-America selection. She capped her stellar career by leading the Utes to an NCAA regional championship and a trip to the College World Series.

Now, 23 years later, Green is applying the same gusto to her position as an associate athletic director and the senior female administrator at Penn State University.

While determined to make an impact in society and in the lives of young people, she’s focused on always doing her best.

“I’m relentless when it comes to that. When I set my mind to something I’m certainly driven to achieve. That’s just who I am. It’s my DNA,” Green said. “When it comes to leadership — when it comes to making a difference — I am just committed to that. It’s just always who I’ve been.”

As a softball star, Green’s accolades included 1991 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year recognition and the Occie Evans Award as the U.’s most outstanding female athlete. She was later inducted into the Utah Softball Hall of Fame. Green eventually received similar honors from athletic departments at Utah as well as her high school in San Diego.

After finishing her college career, Green played professional softball for a season in New Zealand. She then spent a couple of years coordinating youth programs for Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation.

Following a successful two-year stint as the head softball coach at West High, Green returned to the Utes as a volunteer assistant. That led to top assistant coaching positions at Colorado State, Syracuse and Notre Dame. After four years with the Irish softball program, athletic director Kevin White (now at Duke) hired Green to oversee student welfare and development at Notre Dame.

“My journey has been one that is rewarding and exciting as I look back and think about all that I’ve done and what I’ve learned along the way,” said Green, who accepted her current position at Penn State in 2011.

Shortly after taking the job, the Nittany Lions were embroiled in the Jerry Sandusky controversy.

Green noted that in a situation like that, you either lace up your boots and get going or you look the other way and choose to go in a different direction.

“I want to be part of the rebuilding at Penn State, restoring the image at Penn State, and I am so proud of what our institution has done in spite of the adversity that we faced,” Green said. “I’m so incredibly proud of the leaders of the institution who have stepped up to just do great work. To have been a part of that is just something that I will be forever grateful for because I have learned a great deal. I’ve met some incredible leaders, faculty members, administrators who were just committed to doing right and committed to being better for having gone through what we have.”

Green acknowledged that the experience has been very exhausting yet rewarding — putting policies and processes in place to avoid any missteps in the future.

“It’s one of those things where you see achievements happen because you’re doing great work and you’re coming together as one institution to make things better — and make them better for the students who represent our institution,” Green said. “Students who come to Penn State have trusted in our leadership to ensure that they have the resources to excel at the highest level.”

Green absolutely sees herself leading an athletic program someday.

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