Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University search Director of Athletics

Director of Athletics

Washington State University seeks an innovative and experienced leader to direct an athletic department composed of 15 NCAA Division I women’s and men’s sports: baseball, football, men’s and women’s basketball, golf, track and field/cross country, and women’s rowing, soccer, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. The Director of Athletics is responsible for the athletic budget, personnel, strategic planning, fundraising, marketing, media contract negotiations, sports facilities, and overall management of the athletic programs. Successful candidates will promote a program of academic and competitive success built upon a foundation of integrity that reflects core institutional values. The Director of Athletics reports to the President of the University.

About the University

Founded as the people’s university in 1890, Washington State University (WSU) is the state’s only land-grant institution and one of two public research universities. WSU provides a world-class education to 30,614 students through its multi-campus, statewide locations and online. The University has launched a system-wide initiative to become one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities—preeminent in research and discovery, teaching, and engagement—by 2030.

As a distinguished member of the Pac-12 Conference, WSU enjoys a long and proud athletics tradition, and Cougar fans are known nationwide for their passion and loyalty. One example of that passion: on October 7, Cougar fans ensured the “Ol’ Crimson” flag made its 200th consecutive appearance on ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast.

WSU’s athletics program is in the midst of an unparalleled era of success—both on the playing field and in the classroom. Cougar teams qualified for post-season competition in 6 sports during 2016, highlighted by Cougar Football’s appearance in the 2016 Holiday Bowl. Meanwhile, 148 student athletes received All-Conference Scholar-Athlete recognition, and six sports received team academic honors.

Position duties and responsibilities
  • Provide leadership that adheres to the highest standards of integrity in all athletic, academic, and business matters.
  • Set conditions and promote an environment that fosters each student athlete’s health and welfare, academic and athletic achievement, and overall growth and development.
  • Instill a championship culture throughout the athletic department that empowers and propels coaches, student athletes, and staff as they compete for Pac-12 championships.
  • Develop a clear vision that will ensure the athletic department has a competitive advantage in fundraising, facilities development, and in the recruitment, retention, and promotion of student athletes and athletic personnel.
  • Ensure budgetary and fiscal accountability of the athletic department in order to adhere to a balanced budget through enhancing revenue generation and monitoring spending.
  • Lead the development of athletics fundraising goals and work in close coordination with University Advancement to develop fundraising strategies to meet strategic priorities. Meet with donors and prospective donors as part of ongoing fundraising activities, as well as promoting the athletics program, internally and externally, throughout the University community.
  • Provide effective communication as the spokesperson for Washington State University and the athletics department with the media, alumni, donors, fans, parents, and prospective athletes.
  • Develop strategic marketing to increase visibility, exposure, and season ticket sales for all sports.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with a diverse group of faculty, administrators, staff, student body, student government association, alumni, friends, booster clubs, and the local community regarding athletics at Washington State University.
  • Provide strategic leadership and sound decision-making with regard to all athletic department matters including fiscal affairs, personnel, strategic planning, facilities, public relations, and general operations.
  • Provide full compliance with all applicable federal, state, NCAA, Pac-12 Conference, and University rules and regulations.
  • Participate actively in conference meetings and activities.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required, Master’s degree is preferred.
  • Progressive and highly relevant athletic administrative experience or demonstrated experience managing a complex organization.
  • Demonstrated success in supervising senior-level executives/staff, developing and monitoring a comprehensive budgeting process, and overseeing an annual fundraising effort.
  • Proven ability to work with diverse populations of students, faculty, staff, and external constituents.
  • Demonstrated fundraising success, as well as facility upgrades and enhancements.
  • Unwavering commitment to ethics and student athlete academic success.
  • Sports oversight, particularly revenue generating sports programs, is preferred.
  • Excellent written, interpersonal, and oral communication skills.
Application process

Washington State University invites letters of nomination, applications, or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University. Application materials should consist of a letter of interest, resume or curriculum vitae, and references.

Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. Interested candidates are encouraged to submit materials online at Parker Executive Search’s website. For additional information please contact:

Daniel Parker, Vice President and Managing Director
Grant Higgison, Associate
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2900
Atlanta, GA 30328
770-804-1996 x. 118

Washington State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action educator and employer. Members of ethnic minorities, women, specially disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently-separated veterans, and other protected veterans, persons of disability, and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.