University of Washington athletic director Scott Woodward has officially accepted the same position at Texas A&M, the Seattle school announced Friday.
UW president Ana Mari Cauce wrote in a statement that Woodward will remain in his position with the Huskies until the end of the month.
Cauce also wrote that she intends to name an interim athletic director “in the coming days” and form a search committee to pursue Woodward’s replacement.
“Intercollegiate Athletics has marked numerous accomplishments under Scott’s watch,” Cauce wrote, “including significant increases in student-athletes’ average GPA across our 22 teams; national championships in softball, women’s cross country and men’s and women’s crew; and construction of the new Husky Stadium, among many others. Scott’s leadership will be missed, and we wish him well at Texas A&M.”
Woodward, 52, replaces outgoing Texas A&M athletic director Eric Hyman, whose departure was announced Tuesday.
Woodward had served as UW’s athletic director since September 2008, after working as UW’s vice president of external affairs since 2004.
A native of Louisiana, Woodward came to UW under former president Mark Emmert, for whom he worked at Louisiana State University from 2000-04, when Emmert was that school’s chancellor.
After the firing of UW athletic director Todd Turner in December 2007, the school conducted a national search before promoting Woodward to the position, which he had held on an interim basis for seven months before his full-time appointment in September 2008.
In College Station, Woodward reunites with former UW president Michael K. Young, who left Seattle in February to become Texas A&M’s president. Young replaced Emmert as UW president when Emmert left to become president of the NCAA in October 2010.
“It is an honor to join the Aggie Family and I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity that President Young has afforded me,” Woodward said in a statement released by Texas A&M. “Texas A&M is an outstanding university and athletic program, competing in what is arguably the best conference in college sports. I can promise the Aggie faithful that we will compete for championships across the board and we will do so with integrity, class and a commitment to our student-athletes. I couldn’t be more excited to get started.”
During his UW tenure, Woodward fired one football coach (Tyrone Willingham in October 2008) and hired two others (Steve Sarkisian in December 2008 and current head coach Chris Petersen in December 2013), and spearheaded efforts for the $261 million renovation of Husky Stadium that was completed in September 2013.
The UW athletic department reported revenues upwards of $100 million in each of the last two fiscal years, a vast improvement over the budget shortfall that the department faced early in Woodward’s tenure.
In May 2009, Woodward made the decision to eliminate the UW men’s and women’s swimming programs to account for $1.2 million of an eventual $2.8 million in cuts, which also included the elimination of 13 jobs within the department.