July 24, 2012
Charlottesville, Va. -
Melissa Dudek, former assistant director of athletic communications at California, has joined the media Relations department at Virginia. She will handle the media relations duties for the Cavalier women's basketball, women's lacrosse and field hockey programs.
Dudek comes to UVa after spending four years at California working primarily with the Golden Bear women's basketball team, including three seasons working with current Cavalier head coach Joanne Boyle. In addition to women's basketball, Dudek was the primary contact for women's golf and field hockey as well as serving as the editor of the football game day program. During her time in Berkeley, she also worked with the baseball, softball, and women's gymnastics teams and served as a feature writer for the Cal Sports Quarterly magazine.
"We are excited to welcome Melissa to our staff," said Jim Daves, assistant athletics director for media relations. "She has an enthusiasm and energy that along with her extensive experience is going to be a great addition to the athletics department."
Prior to her time at Cal, Dudek spent the first five years of her collegiate sports information career as an assistant athletic director for athletic communications at Lewis & Clark College, an NCAA III institution in Portland, Ore., juggling the media relations needs for the program's 19 sports, including football and both basketballs. During her time at L&C, she also served as the play-by-play announcer for baseball, softball, and men's and women's basketball as well as creating a student mentoring program for students interested in broadcasting.
Prior to entering the realm of collegiate athletics, Dudek spent nine years working in minor league baseball with stops in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Triple-A for the Rockies), Kannapolis, N.C. (Single-A for the Phillies), Charlotte, N.C. (Triple-A for the White Sox) and Helena, Mont. (Rookie Level for the Brewers).
In addition to working with collegiate and professional teams, Dudek has also volunteered at numerous prominent athletic events such as NCAA regionals and super regionals, the LPGA Safeway Classic, Davis Cup Finals and US Figure Skating National Championships.
Dudek has also published two fictional novels about minor league baseball, Wildfire Summer (2001) and Catchers, Cows and Nachos (2005). Her full-length stage play, Serenity, earned a staged reading as a winning entry in the Carolina Contemporary Playwrights' Festival in Charlotte, N.C. (2003).
Born in Chicago, Ill. and raised in Poway, Calif., she graduated in 1992 with a degree in communication from Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles.