Photo of campus building in Fall.

Holly Gera ’79

Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

For the past 22 years, Holly Gera, director of Intercollegiate Athletics, has been a constant, calming presence amid the whirlwind of schedules, games, personnel and decisions that make up Montclair State University’s athletic programs. She has led the department and guided and mentored countless student athletes with her trademark positive, caring approach.

“I had the pleasure of having Holly as my athletics director during my time as player and coach,” says Bill Anthes ’07. “Her grace and composure was always evident and has had a lasting impact on me, not just at the leadership level, but on the human level.”

A 1979 graduate of Montclair State, Gera joined the University as director of campus recreation in 1989, after working in recreation departments in South Orange and Branchburg townships, New Jersey. She became assistant director of Athletics a year later, associate director in 1995, and in 1996, was promoted to director.

An inspiration to all who have known her or worked with her, Gera, who will retire at the end of 2018, has left a lasting impression on student athletes and colleagues alike.

“Holly’s warmth and sense of community will forever stick with me as an alumni and former student athlete,” says Maurice Torres ’10. “Every time I see her, she makes me feel a part of the Montclair State family.”

“I’m very fortunate to have been a student athlete at Montclair State as well as a colleague of Holly Gera’s,” says Stephanie Sabaliauskas ’05, ’11 MA, who is the events and promotions manager for the Department of Athletics. “Holly is one of the most committed people to the University…she lives by the motto ‘carpe diem’! With her seize-the-day approach, she always brings a positive attitude to the office. Something that I am thankful to have learned from her.”

An educator as well as an administrator, Gera has taught courses at Montclair State, as well as at Rutgers and Kean Universities.

“Holly is a tremendous role model,” says Michael Palazzo ’14, now an assistant football coach at Montclair State. “She approaches every day with such great passion – she is a real inspiration to me. I am very fortunate to work alongside someone who demonstrates such character and integrity and will forever be grateful for the opportunity she gave me.”

Gera has received many awards for her skills as an administrator, including the ECAC Jostens Female Administrator of the Year Award from the Eastern College Athletic Conference, and the Garden State Award for Administrative Excellence from the Collegiate Athletic Administrators of New Jersey. She was inducted into the Montclair State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015 for her service to the department.

“Holly was influential throughout my time as a student athlete,” says Melissa Tobie ’16, an All-American basketball star for the Red Hawks. “She taught me the importance of poise and positivity. No matter how hectic the gym could be on game day, Holly always found a way to keep things running smoothly, with a positive attitude. Her positivity was contagious, and she certainly served as a great role model.”