Patrick Chun becomes the first Asian-American Athletic Director to lead a Power Five program. Chun comes to WSU from Florida Atlantic, and will begin his tenure on Feb. 5.
Washington State has hired Patrick Chun to be its new athletic director, the school announced Monday in a news release.
Chun will be WSU’s 14th athletic director, replacing Bill Moos, who left for Nebraska in October. Chun, 43, becomes the first Asian-American athletic director to lead a Power Five school. He will be introduced in a news conference at the Rankich Club Room at Martin Stadium on Tuesday, at 11 a.m.
Chun will begin his tenure as WSU athletic director on Feb. 5. He comes to WSU after five and a half years as athletic director at Florida Atlantic. Prior to that, Chun spent 15 years working his way up within the Ohio State athletic department, culminating his career with the Buckeyes as their executive associate athletics director.
“This is a game-changing day for our athletics program,” WSU President Kirk Schulz said in a news release. “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.”
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The Cougars initially announced last week that they had concluded their search for Moos’ successor, though they did not name the winning candidate. News organizations, including The Seattle Times, confirmed through sources that Chun was the hire, but his introductory news conference — originally scheduled for last Wednesday — was postponed after news broke of WSU QB Tyler Hilinski’s death.
Chun was, however, already on the WSU campus at the time, and he was spotted at Beasley Coliseum in the company of WSU President Kirk Schulz and his wife, Noel Schulz, at WSU’s women’s basketball game against UW on Wednesday.
Chun takes over as WSU athletic director at a critical time. WSU athletics is trying to move forward from the shocking death of Hilinski, who took his own life last Tuesday. Financially, the Cougars’ athletic department has closed out its last four fiscal years in debt, and WSU is in the homestretch of its fundraising campaign to revamp the baseball clubhouse. Schulz has also acknowledged the importance of raising money to build an indoor practice facility, and Chun will be expected to lead that charge.
Chun has an established track record of fundraising success from his time at FAU and Ohio State. He will move to Pullman with his wife, Natalie, and three daughters – Vanna, Kennedy and Gretta.
“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,” Chun said in a news release “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.”