About the University of Washington

Since its founding in 1861, the University of Washington (UW) has been a hub for learning, innovation, problem solving, and community building. It’s now one of the world’s preeminent public research universities, ranked No.3 among U.S. public higher education institutions on the 2023 Academic Ranking of World Universities., UW is comprised of three campuses in Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma, along with a global network of programs and outreach, and educates more than 60,000 students annually across its three campuses, with another 50,000 through its Continuum College. UW Medicine and UW health sciences professionals also support a world-class health care system that serves the health care needs of the people of the state of Washington and surrounding region.

The University’s collective vision is to be the greatest public university in the world, as measured by the University’s impact. The UW provides a comprehensive portfolio of undergraduate, graduate, professional, and co-curricular programs that prepare and engage Washington’s and the world’s top students. The UW is a thriving center of education, research, and innovation in multiple fields and attracts exemplary faculty and a highly diverse student population. With over a thousand student clubs, a multitude of cultural organizations, a wide range of sports at all levels from recreational to varsity, and year-round arts and entertainment opportunities, there are lots of ways to find belonging, make friends with common interests and explore new horizons.

UW students, faculty and staff are driven to serve the greater good, and tackle today’s most pressing challenges with courage and creativity, making a difference across Washington state — and around the world.  For more information, visit https://www.washington.edu/.

Position Overview

As a member of the Pac-12 Conference through August 1, 2024, the University of Washington will be joining the Big Ten Conference afterwards. The move to the Big Ten will enable all 22 NCAA Division I sponsored Husky teams to continue to compete at the highest level on a national stage, while also providing the stability and resources that are needed to support their quest for excellence in the classroom and in competition. The University of Washington seeks an experienced, innovative leader to direct a comprehensive intercollegiate athletics program, while demonstrating a commitment to a program of academic and competitive success built upon a foundation of integrity that reflects core institutional values. Reporting to the President, the Director of Athletics is responsible for the athletic budget, personnel, strategic planning, fund-raising, marketing, sports facilities and the overall management of the athletic programs. The Director of Athletics must also ensure strict compliance with regulations governing intercollegiate athletics and all applicable University, NCAA and Conference rules and regulations.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provide leadership that adheres to the highest standards of integrity and ethics in all athletic, academic and business matters, and enhances student-athlete well-being and academic success.
  • 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.
  • Develop a clear vision and strategic plan that will ensure the athletic department has a competitive advantage in fundraising, facilities development, and the recruitment, retention and promotion of student-athletes and athletic personnel.
  • Create, enforce, interpret, and review ICA’s policies, procedures and strategic plan.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships and communications with faculty, administrators, staff, student body, student government association, alumni, friends, booster clubs, and the local community regarding athletics at the University of Washington. 
  • Provide fiscally responsible oversight for the preparation and management of the annual budget. Set and meet athletic department budget targets.
  • Lead the development of Athletics fundraising goals and work in close coordination with University Advancement to develop fundraising strategies to meet strategic priorities. Cultivate endowment/donor relationships in order to establish sustainable excellence reflective of the culture that is uniquely the University of Washington.
  • Assure that the University has plans, policies, procedures and programs that are in compliance with the Governing Athletic Rules and University Policy, and that promote the mission of the University, the University's high standard of academic excellence, and the general welfare of student-athletes.
  • Use best efforts to ensure that all academic standards, requirements, University Policy and Governing Athletic Rules are observed, including those in connection with the recruiting and eligibility of prospective and current student­ athletes who are academically qualified.
  • Develop procedures and programs that assure the welfare of student-athletes; ensuring that coaching and administrative staff actively support ICA and the University's joint commitment to academic achievement for each student-athlete, to include promoting academic advising and counseling services; maintaining an environment in which the pursuit of higher education is a priority as reflected by class attendance, grade point averages, the NCAA academic progress rates (APR), and the NCAA and federal graduation rates.
  • Engage in conduct consistent with a position as an instructor of students; and developing procedures and programs that promote satisfactory academic performance and progress of student-athletes towards obtaining a baccalaureate degree in conjunction with their participation in athletics.
  • Promote athletic excellence and a competitive program on local, Conference and national levels for the men's and women's intercollegiate varsity sports programs.
  • Responsible for the recruitment, the hiring and the terms and conditions of employment of all head coaches, with consultation and approval by the President as appropriate.
  • Work with the NCAA, Conference and broadcast and television networks to ensure that the University of Washington receives exposure from radio and television and other digital content and media platform, and is able to articulate the rapidly changing media landscape and articulate a plan for developing new business models.
  • Maintain, and manage with the assistance of the Senior Associate Athletic Directors, a staff of head coaches that are nationally recognized for their coaching records and their contributions to both their profession and to the academic well-being of student athletes.
  • Maintain responsibility for hiring and supervising all administrative and other ICA personnel as deemed appropriate for the proper and effective functioning of a major intercollegiate athletic program in the framework of the values and traditions of the University, consistent with the University Policy and Governing Athletic Rules, and with the supervision and approval of the President as appropriate.
  • Maintain effective relations with NCAA and Conference governing boards, and University alumni, students, faculty (including the ICA Faculty Athletic Representative), staff and Regents; and, serving on any appropriate NCAA, Conference, or University governing or oversight body.
  • Ensure the fiscal integrity of ICA; developing strategic plans and budgets for ICA and its programs; raising private funds; monitoring the expenditure of all funds consistent with all state and federal laws, University Policy, and Governing Athletic Rules.
  • Responsible for developing, maintaining and implementing a plan for achieving diversity objectives within the athletic department, including compliance with Title IX.  Provide leadership in establishing a climate of inclusion and integrates the campus Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging efforts into the athletic department
  • Identify needs for renovation and repairs consistent with principles of equal access and University Policy; negotiating and recommending ICA marketing, and sponsorship arrangements consistent with University Policy.
  • Consult regularly with the Office of the Attorney General, Internal Auditor, or other University component regarding the interpretation of applicable rules, laws, policies, or regulations, and bring any differences of opinion to the President for resolution; assist the Internal Auditor, Office of the Attorney General, or other designated individuals in investigating all cases where an alleged violation of a University Rule or Governing Athletic Rule has or may have occurred.
  • Maintain responsibility for overseeing and assisting with scheduling athletic events and games, and identifying and recommending addition or removal of University athletic teams.
  • Report to the Regents when requested by the President or the Regents on topics related to the duties contemplated.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • Progressive and highly relevant athletic administrative experience at the collegiate level, demonstrated experience managing a complex organization or equivalent management experience. 
  • Commitment to excellence in academics and athletics.
  • Demonstrated success in formulating and/or executing an athletics vision and strategy that supports the University’s overall mission and strategic plan.
  • Experience promoting the intercollegiate athletic program throughout the University community through successful fundraising, creation of external partnerships, fiscal management, and senior-level executives/staff and sport supervision.
  • Demonstrated track record of success in designing and implementing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives within an intercollegiate athletics context.                              
  • Proven ability to work with diverse populations of students, faculty, staff, and external constituents.
  • Clear understanding of the role of athletics in a major research university setting.
  • Unwavering commitment to ethics and student-athlete academic success.
  • Effective interpersonal and communication skills with both internal and external constituencies. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of NCAA rules and operations, with the ability to work with admissions and coaches in the appropriate recruitment of student-athletes.

Application Process

The University of Washington invites nominations and applications or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University. Applications must include a cover letter, resume or curriculum vitae, and list of references. For full consideration, application materials should be submitted to Parker Executive Search’s website by September 17th, 2023. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made.

For additional information, please contact:

Daniel Parker, Vice President and Managing Director

DeLaina Sarden, Principal

Tori Williams, Executive Recruiting Coordinator

danielparker@parkersearch.com | dsarden@parkersearch.com | twilliams@parkersearch.com 

Parker Executive Search

770-804-1996 ext. 116 | 770-804-1996 ext. 119

“The University of Washington is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives, and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.”

The base salary range for this position will be $900,000 to $1,500,000, commensurate with experience and qualifications, or as mandated by a U.S. Department of Labor prevailing wage determination. Other compensation associated with this position may include incentives, relocation and recruitment incentives, and bonuses.

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