The university announced her hiring Tuesday. Baumgartner will begin her new job July 8, replacing longtime athletic director Dan Coonan.
At Syracuse since 2011, Baumgartner previously worked at Oregon for more than two decades and served as a senior member of the university's athletics development team. She played golf and later coached at Southern California. Baumgartner grew up in Portland, Oregon.
A five-person campus committee helped Santa Clara President Michael Engh in the nationwide search.
Engh said Baumgartner was brought in with the hope she can ''lead Santa Clara's athletics program to greater national prominence.''