UW News

October 7, 2023

University of Washington appoints Troy Dannen as Director of Athletics

UW News

The University of Washington has appointed Troy Dannen to serve as its 16th Director of Athletics, UW President Ana Mari Cauce announced today. Dannen most recently served as the Director of Athletics at Tulane University, where during his eight-year tenure the Green Wave had 49 All-Americans and 21 conference champions, and made 41 postseason appearances, including a Cotton Bowl victory over USC earlier this year.

Dannen will begin his duties at the UW on Monday, Oct. 9, and will be introduced in a news conference on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

“Troy is committed to excellence across all sports, as well as the success of our students off the field. I’m so thrilled to welcome him and his family to our Husky family because I know he has a deep commitment to student-athletes — enabling them to be champions in competition, in the classroom, and most importantly, in their lives after graduation. He’s also a leader in the national conversations about the changing landscape of college sports, which as we move to the Big Ten will be invaluable to securing the long-term success of Husky Athletics,” Cauce said.

Troy Dannen

Troy Dannen

“I am so honored to have the opportunity to serve the University of Washington, our students, coaches, staff, faculty and incredible fans,” Dannen said. “Throughout this process, the passion, love and spirit of the UW was evident in every conversation, as was the alignment necessary for comprehensive success. We will compete for championships, and we will provide an unmatched experience for our student-athletes. The future has never been brighter for Husky Athletics, and I am humbled to steward the next chapter in our storied history.”

Dannen was a finalist for the Sports Business Journal’s Athletic Director of the Year award in 2022 in recognition of the transformation of Tulane Athletics under his leadership. The Green Wave finished the 2022 football season ranked ninth in the nation, and across all sports during the 2022-23 academic year, 40 Tulane student-athletes were named to all-conference teams. Tulane’s student-athletes also set a department-record Academic Progress Rate (APR) of 992 this past year, with a 93% graduation success rate.

Dannen established Green Wave Justice for All to advance diversity and inclusion within the department, university and community, as well as Tulane’s Name, Image and Likeness program to support student-athletes. In addition, he led numerous record-setting fundraising efforts, for programs to support student-athletes and teams and for capital improvements. Revenue streams across all areas increased significantly during his tenure.

From 2021 to 2023, Dannen served first on the NCAA Constitution Committee and then on the NCAA Transformation Committee, serving alongside presidents, commissioners and directors of athletics in charting a path forward for intercollegiate athletics. He is currently in his fourth year as Chair of the NCAA Football Competition Committee and serves on the Executive Committee of the NCAA Football Oversight Committee.

“Troy brings a passion and enthusiasm for college athletics as well as a strong commitment to developing student-athletes. He is a visionary and proven leader, and has worked diligently to improve the sport of football. I’m excited to work with Troy and help move the Huskies into the future,” UW Head Football Coach Kalen DeBoer said.

“I am very excited for our university and our students as we welcome Troy into the Husky community. I’m confident that his wealth of knowledge and connections across the NCAA will help guide Washington Athletics into a successful future,” said Professor Alexes Harris, UW Faculty Regent and Faculty Athletics Representative.

“Troy is a gifted leader and experienced athletic director who will help lead Washington to new heights. He is highly respected because of his wisdom, thoughtfulness and integrity. And he is admired by coaches and administrators because of his support, creativity and drive to be the best. It’s an exciting time in college athletics with many challenges ahead, and Troy Dannen is just the person to help lead the Huskies into an exciting future. Go Dawgs!” said Chris Petersen, former Washington head football coach, who along with DeBoer, Harris, Interim Director of Athletics Erin O’Connell and Regent David Zeeck were among the consultants to President Cauce on the search.

Prior to his time at Tulane, Dannen served as director of athletics at the University of Northern Iowa for seven years. While he was AD at UNI, the university’s teams reached 15 NCAA tournaments and 20 post-season berths, with Dannen being recognized as FCS Athletic Director of the Year in 2014.

Dannen graduated from UNI in 1989 with a degree in communications. He is married to Amy, and together they have four children: Elle, Emily, Holly and William.

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For more information, contact David Rey: drey94@uw.edu