Apr 05, 2021 10:24 PM

Travis Goff named Director of Athletics at KU

Posted Apr 05, 2021 10:24 PM
Travis Goff courtesy photo
Travis Goff courtesy photo

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas has selected Travis Goff to serve as its next director of athletics, Chancellor Douglas Girod announced today.

Goff currently serves as the deputy director of athletics and assistant vice president at Northwestern University. In this role, he is a member of the executive staff responsible for all high-level decisions and is a sport administrator for the football, volleyball and baseball programs. Before joining Northwestern, he served as associate athletics director for external affairs at Tulane University. Prior to that, he worked in athletics development at KU, where he also earned his undergraduate degree. (Read his professional biography on the Kansas Athletics website.)

“Our search for an athletics director during the past several weeks resulted in conversations with a number of outstanding candidates, which speaks well of KU on the national stage,” Girod said. “Travis stood out among the candidates due to his experience, his reputation as a man of integrity, and his demonstrated ability to connect with faculty, staff, alumni and donors. I am especially impressed with Travis’ vision for KU. Travis understands the challenges we face and the changing landscape of collegiate athletics. At the same time, he is well-positioned to help us build on our recent successes in student-athlete healthcare, diversity and inclusion, and student-athlete academic achievement. The fact that he is a Jayhawk is an added bonus and will undoubtedly serve him well as he moves Kansas Athletics forward.”

Girod was advised in the search process by KU alumni Linda Ellis Sims, Wayne Simien, Ray Evans and John Ballard.

“It truly is an honor and a privilege to steward the next chapter of Kansas Athletics, and I am extremely grateful to Chancellor Girod for his belief in me and our shared vision for the future,” Goff said. “With a long history of success, unwavering partnership with campus leaders, and the unparalleled passion of the Jayhawk fanbase, this is one of the most humbling responsibilities and opportunities in college athletics. Our purpose will remain focused on fostering our student-athletes’ academic, social and athletic development; supporting our talented coaches and staff; connecting with alumni and donors; and, most importantly, building a culture that allows 16 proud programs to compete for Big 12 Conference and national championships while representing our department, our institution and our community. As a native Kansan and Jayhawk alumnus, I’m thrilled to return to Lawrence with my family and to continue to make this department a point of pride for our entire university. I cannot wait to get started!” 

Goff will begin his new role immediately.

Girod will introduce Goff to the KU community at a news conference Wednesday, April 7 at 10 a.m. at the Lied Center. The event will be livestreamed on the Kansas Athletics homepage. Attendance will be limited due to public health restrictions, and journalists interested in attending the event should RSVP online.

What they're saying about travis goff

Kurt Watson, Interim Director of Athletics

“We are thrilled to welcome back to Kansas Travis Goff as the new Director of Athletics. Travis has a dynamic leadership ability and an exceptional vision for KU that will benefit our campus, athletics department, alumni, donors as well as the entire Lawrence community. This is a great day for KU and I am excited for what the future holds.”

Bill Self, Head Men’s Basketball Coach

“We are fortunate to have Travis return to Lawrence to lead our department and after speaking with him, it is clear he is exactly what we need. He will be a tremendous partner to all of our head coaches and sports programs and will ensure that our student-athletes have a world-class experience during their time at KU. I am thrilled to have Travis and his family rejoin our Jayhawk family.”  

Jim Phillips, ACC Commissioner

“Kansas has made an exceptional hire in Travis Goff as its next Athletics Director. Travis is an extraordinary leader that was involved as a decision maker in all areas at Northwestern. He is a servant leader who will work tirelessly for all Jayhawk student-athletes, coaches, administrators, alumni, and fans. His vision, work ethic and high intellect will serve Kansas well. I wish Travis, Nancy and their amazing family all the best as they go home to embark on this new chapter.”

Ross Bjork, Athletics Director, Texas A&M

“When you grow up in Dodge City like Travis and I did, you get to know everyone. I have been fortunate to know Travis and his first-class family for more than 30 years, and it is so exciting to see him become the Athletics Director at Kansas. As both of us have evolved in college athletics, we have become great friends. I have always known this day would come for Travis at the right time and the right place. 

“Travis has developed a sterling reputation in college athletics. He represents a new era in leadership as we modernize the collegiate model. The University of Kansas has hit a home run by hiring Travis as its new Athletics Director. I could not be more proud to call Travis a lifelong friend, and now fellow AD. Congratulations to Travis, his wife, Nancy, and their children, Ellie, Carly and Graham, on returning home to Kansas.”