On this episode of The LB Fee Show we talk to Long Beach State athletic director Andy Fee about the basketball teams and their strange schedules. We also catch up with former LBSU Deputy Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator Cindy Masner who retired after 37 years on campus.
Extra special guest this week as Cindy Masner joins the pod following her retirement at the end of 2020 to talk about her legacy, her next steps and opinions on softball seams while telling some great stories. The guys and Andy also get into the great start for the women’s basketball team and updates for the men’s team as Big West play continues.
It’s hard to imagine talking about the growth of women’s athletics at Long Beach State and not mentioning Cindy Masner.
She came to the university as a softball player and has worked a variety of jobs within the athletic department for the last 37 years. However, the Deputy Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator has announced her retirement at the end of the year.
“The standard reaction was, ‘Are you sick?’ But I’m okay,” Masner said. “Something in me just said this is time. There’s never a good time, but I had to take care of some things in my own life. After I told (Fee) I felt at peace, but that was the hardest call I’ve ever had to make.”
Masner worked in the ticket office as a student-athlete, and eventually took over as the head of events management. She spent some time as the department’s Associate Athletics Director for Compliance, and then in 1994 she was named the Senior Woman Administrator. One of athletic director Andy Fee’s first acts on the job was to then name Masner as his Deputy Athletics Director.
“(Masner) has had a positive and lasting influence on countless student-athletes, coaches and staff that will be felt for years to come,” Fee said.
“I never thought about going anywhere but Long Beach,” Masner said. “Long Beach is a great place and I wouldn’t give up my years there. I went to Long Beach specifically because I wanted to get into athletic administration. I was able to live my dream. If you cut me, I think I bleed Black & Gold.”
Masner was also trusted to serve as the Interim Athletics Director twice, before the hiring of Vic Cegles and Fee. She pointed to a lack of fund-raising desire as the biggest reason for not every becoming the athletic director herself.
“Whether you ask someone for a dollar or a million dollars — I’m not a good judge of that,” she said. “Every other part of the job I could have done, or I did. I’ve been pretty lucky to create a job that I really wanted. I was lucky enough to have people who believed in me and let me really do the things that needed to be done.”
On campus, Masner also served as the Chair of the CSULB President’s Commission on the status of women, the Deputy Title IX coordinator for athletics, the University Clery Committee, the Diversity and Inclusion Team and most recently with the COVID-19 Response Team.
“I think we need to treat men’s and women’s athletics equally, not identically,” Masner said.
This Big West Conference was also lucky to have Masner as a member of the Big West Council and the Executive Committee, the Compliance Committee, the Championships Committee and the SWA advisory group.
Nationally, she was a member of the NCAA Division I Softball Championship Committee and the Division I Softball Rules committee. Masner was previously the Big West Conference representative on the NCAA Division I Legislative Council.
“It’s hard for me to imagine Beach athletics without Cindy,” CSULB President Jane Close Conoley said in an official statement. “She has brought the highest level of excellence and integrity to our work. She has stepped up time and time again to provide leadership and wise counsel to me, coaches, staff and student athletes — always with good humor and unfailing loyalty to The Beach.”
Masner, who was also instrumental in getting the softball complex and clubhouse built, said her short retirement has already given her time to take care of chores around the house.
“In my Palm Springs house, I did build a wine cellar, so I’m pretty excited about that,” Masner said. “It holds over 700 bottles of wine. I actually had two different groups of people send me bottles of Veuve Clicquot, so I was very happy.”