WSU announces Patrick Chun as new Athletic Director - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

WSU announces Patrick Chun as new Athletic Director

Photo: WSU Athletics Photo: WSU Athletics

By WSU Athletics

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University President Kirk Schulz has selected Patrick Chun as the WSU Director of Athletics, it was announced Monday. Chun will be introduced at a press conference in the Rankich Club Room at Martin Stadium Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 11 a.m. He becomes the 14th individual to lead Cougar athletics in school history and begins his duties Feb. 5.


“This is a game-changing day for our athletics program,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “We were focused on finding a leader with the right blend of experience, vision, and passion to lead Cougar athletics to the next level of success. In Pat, we’re confident we found that person. His achievements in fundraising, boosting the academic success rate of student athletes, and building strong relationships with the community—on- and off-campus—are exemplary.”


Chun, 43, is the first Asian-American athletic director to lead a Power 5 school and continues President Schulz’ drive to diversify his senior leadership team. He has spent the past five and a half years leading Florida Atlantic University athletics and the previous 15 years at Ohio State University in a multitude of roles from 1997 through 2012, culminating as the executive associate athletics director.


“I am honored to serve the Washington State University family and I want to thank President Schulz and the search committee for entrusting me as the steward of the Department of Athletics,” said Chun.  “The passion and pride of Cougar Nation is renowned and revered across the country and I will work with our great coaches and staff to impact the lives of our student-athletes and to build upon our past successes to achieve new heights.  My family and I are looking forward to joining the WSU community and we are excited to get started.”


During his time at Florida Atlantic University athletics, Chun guided the Owls to unprecedented successes across academics, athletics, student-athlete development and fundraising. His top priority upon arriving at FAU was academics, which saw tremendous growth. Entering the 2017-18 academic year, FAU student-athletes have posted a combined GPA above 3.0 for each of the past four semesters, a first in school history. School records were also posted for Graduate Success Rate (GSR) and Academic Progress Rate (APR) in 2016-17.


Chun’s focus on the complete student-athlete is highlighted by the 2016 National Association of Academic Advisors (N4A) Model Practices Award, awarded to FAU for displaying best practices in their programming for student-athletes. FAU was honored for its work with the football program. Along with the academic improvement, the FAU athletics department developed a comprehensive life skills program, featuring career services and a speakers program, as well as a concerted effort to provide community service to the South Florida area.


“Throughout the process it was exciting to see the number of tremendous candidates who applied,” said WSU Faculty Athletic Representative and search committee member Nancy Swanger. “It reaffirmed what I believed from the start, that this position is a nationally coveted job. Pat will be a wonderful addition to our campus and a person who understands the growing time demands of collegiate athletics, places a premium on academics, and has great vision for the future with student-athlete welfare at the forefront.”


Under Chun’s leadership, FAU athletics rose to some of its greatest heights, winning multiple championships, individual and team, and numerous national and conference awards. Owls’ football won its final 10 games of 2017 to finish 11-3 with a bowl victory over Akron while receiving votes in the final national poll. Entering the 2017-18 academic year, FAU athletics posted an overall winning record the previous three years while women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, beach volleyball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, baseball and softball have either won conference championships, been ranked highest in school history or finished with winning seasons. The men’s and women’s diving teams, women’s track and field and cross country programs produced conference champions along with all-conference honorees.


Chun has earned a reputation as an outstanding fundraiser with record successes at two institutions. At FAU, December 2, 2015, the university announced the largest single gift in its history, $16 million from the Schmidt Family Foundation. The lead gift is directed to the design and construction of a new athletics facility to be named the Schmidt Family Complex for Academic and Athletic Excellence. In addition to the naming rights gift, two separate $5 million naming gifts were included in the project for a sports medicine center and academic center. Construction began in the fall of 2017.


Additional facility improvements at FAU during Chun’s time included the opening of the $800,000 FAU Tennis Complex, the addition of sand volleyball courts for the beach volleyball program and last fall the FAU Varsity Soccer Field opened following renovations and enhancements.


Revenue generation has been at the forefront of initiatives for Chun. In August of 2013, FAU agreed to a 10-year agreement with Learfield Sports as its exclusive corporate sponsorship sales unit. The partnership is expected to generate $25 million in revenues over the life of the agreement. In 2015, FAU extended its agreement with Adidas for $1.2 million.


On a national level, Chun currently serves on the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee. He also was named to the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) executive committee in 2016. Chun completed a three-year term on the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee from 2013-16. He also serves as a mentor in the NCAA Pathways program. Chun had previously served on the executive committee for the National Association for Athletics Development Directors (NAADD) and was a longtime board member for the Columbus, Ohio chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. In 2011, Chun was selected for the inaugural class of the Division 1A Athletics Directors Association Fellowship Program.


Prior to FAU, Chun spent 15 years at Ohio State University working at his alma mater. During his tenure, he was promoted six times in the Department of Athletics, ultimately elevating to Executive Associate Athletics Director for External Relations. In his last role at Ohio State, Chun provided leadership and oversight for all facets of the external relations division from 2009-12. In the four years of overseeing the external relations division, Chun oversaw record fundraising years of $42 million in 2012, $41 million in 2011, and $39 million in 2010. Chun also was a lead member of the athletics department senior team that authored the then-largest multimedia rights deal in intercollegiate athletics history: a 10-year, $128 million partnership with IMG College in 2009. Chun also served as the daily administrative liaison with the football program.


A native of Strongsville, Ohio, Chun earned a bachelor's degree from Ohio State University and a master's degree from Duquesne University. He and his wife, Natalie, also an OSU alumna, have three daughters (Vanna, Kennedy and Gretta) who enjoy their dog (Little Brother).












What They Are Saying


Jim Tressel, President, Youngstown State University

"Pat Chun is clearly one of the finest athletic administrators in America. The student-athletes and their well-being will be his primary interest. Pat will be a terrific mentor to all of the coaches, and he, along with Natalie and the family will be a blessing to the WSU Cougar Family. "


Tom McMillan, President and CEO of Lead1

“Pat Chun is one of the outstanding young leaders in college athletics who has demonstrated transformative and inspiring leadership, and who has always been willing to give back to his profession. We wish him well at Washington State.”


Gene Smith, Director of Athletics at Ohio State University

“Pat Chun is one of the premier young leaders in Intercollegiate Athletics. He is extremely talented and gifted. I am so happy for him and proud of him.”


Dan Guerrero, Director of Athletics at UCLA

“I am thrilled to hear of Pat Chun’s selection as Washington State University’s next athletic director, and excited to welcome him to the Pac-12. Pat and I have served together on a number of committees through the years, and I have come to know him as a tremendously talented and insightful administrator. I have great respect for him, both as a leader and as a person, and I look forward to working with him in our conference.”


Urban Meyer, Head Football Coach, Ohio State University

“Pat has done an outstanding job as athletic director at Florida Atlantic. He is a rising star in the profession and I wish him all the best in this new position.”


Oliver Luck, NCAA Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs

“President Schulz hit a Grand Slam with the hire of Pat Chun.  I’ve known Pat for many years and he is one of the savviest and brightest athletic directors in the country.  A protégé of Gene Smith at Ohio State, Pat did incredible work at FAU and put them in the national spotlight.  And I? believe he will do the same for the Cougars.“


Bob Vecchione, NACDA Executive Director

“Pat is one of Intercollegiate Athletics industry's rising young stars. Pat has paid his dues at every level of his career during his 15-year tenure at Ohio State, and had the perfect role model and mentor, Gene Smith. Pat heightened the awareness at FAU, during his 5-plus years and there is little doubt that he will do the same at Washington State!”


Joe Castiglione, Oklahoma Vice President and Director of Athletics

"Congratulations to Washington State University on the outstanding hire of Pat Chun as its new athletics director.  I'm especially excited to see him united with President Schulz, whom I know and am a huge fan of from his days in the Big 12 Conference. Pat has been purposeful in his career journey to sharpen the necessary skills to lead in today's dynamic world of intercollegiate athletics. Moreover, he will identify, build and sustain great relationships with all key stakeholders of the University's vision and mission."


Joey Galloway, 16-year NFL wide receiver and current ESPN college football analyst

“Pat was a part of the tremendous growth of one of the largest athletic programs (if not the largest) in the country at Ohio State. He then took that experience to FAU where he put the football program on the map with the hiring of Lane Kiffen. I am excited to see what Pat will do at a top Pac-12 school like Washington State.”

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