Thursday, July 18, 2024

Washington to hire Pat Chun: Huskies poach Washington State AD for same role ahead of Big Ten move

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Washington is set to hire Washington State athletic director Pat Chun to the same position, according to 247Sports. Chun replaces Troy Dannen, who left just months after accepting the job to take the open AD position at Nebraska. It’s a six-year deal for Chun to leave the Cougars for the rival Huskies, according to multiple reports. 

Chun is a well-regarded athletic director who has overseen a period of strong success at Wazzu. The football team put together a streak of seven consecutive bowl games, while the men’s basketball team made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008 this season. The women’s basketball team also won the Pac-12 championship in 2023. 

The collapse of the Pac-12 has put the two remaining institutions — Washington State and Oregon State — in a precarious position. Men’s basketball coach Kyle Smith left Washington State for former conference rival Stanford on Monday, while Oregon State football coach Jonathan Smith departed for Michigan State after a 25-13 record over the past three seasons. The pair will officially compete as FBS football independents in 2024-25, though the schools have a scheduling partnership with the Mountain West.

Washington State’s losing Chun to a chief rival adds an extra sting, however. Chun’s decision comes just one day after Oregon State and Washington State reached a legal settlement with the Pac-12’s departing 10 members where the schools will make approximately $65 million combined in 2024 due to withheld and supplemental revenue. 

Chun will now lead Washington into the Big Ten, an area where he has strong experience. He worked for his alma mater, Ohio State, for 15 years under outgoing athletic director Gene Smith, ultimately earning the role as executive associate athletics director. Chun spent five years as FAU as athletic director, where among the highlights of that tenure was hiring Lane Kiffin as football coach, before landing at Washington State. 

Chun was the first Asian American athletic director at at power conference institution when he took over in January 2018. He is the son of South Korean immigrants who moved to America in 1969. 

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