Top UCLA athletics fundraiser Josh Rebholz resigns after 13 years

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Josh Rebholz, the UCLA senior associate athletic director and fundraising force whose 13 years at the school were tinged with controversy, has resigned to take a job with a real estate firm.

Rebholz, who was recently away from UCLA for several weeks because of an unspecified matter, announced his departure in a tweet Thursday, saying he would become vice president of capital markets for a development, construction and property management company.

“At this point in my life,” Rebholz wrote, “this was an opportunity that pursued me over the past few months that I ultimately could not pass up. While I am excited about the new chapter in my career, I would be remiss if I did not say a part of my heart will always lie in Westwood.”

Rebholz helped generate hundreds of millions of dollars in donations for the athletic department, handled football scheduling and was an integral part of search committees that landed basketball coach Mick Cronin and football coaches Chip Kelly and DeShaun Foster.

UCLA’s athletic department broke a fundraising record when it brought in $80 million during the 2014 fiscal year thanks in part to Rebholz’s efforts. Since Rebholz’s arrival, the number of donors who gave $25,000 or more annually to the athletic department rose from 16 to more than 260.

But Rebholz also found himself in the midst of several controversies. He was issued a letter of reprimand from the university over an alleged November 2014 incident in which Mollie Vehling, then the director of UCLA’s spirit squad, accused him of sending “explicit text messages” to a member of the dance team.

Rebholz also came under scrutiny during the Varsity Blues scandal in 2019. As part of the investigation, it was disclosed that former UCLA track and field coach Michael Maynard had accused Rebholz of soliciting Maynard’s help in admitting the daughter of major donors despite her not being talented enough to be a member of the team.

That same year, there were questions about Rebholz’s level of discretion after he sent a text message to major donors outlining the search for a new basketball coach. In the text message, Rebholz named eight prominent coaches who failed the school’s vetting efforts that made them “untouchable” because of major NCAA violations, “infidelity, very low character, etc.”

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