WSU President Kirk Schulz formally announced today what many in Cougar Nation already have heard: Patrick Chun accepted an offer last week to serve as the University’s next athletics director.

The announcement originally was scheduled for Wednesday but was postponed to give the WSU community time to begin healing following the tragic death of Tyler Hilinski.

Today, in what Schulz called a game-changer for WSU, he confirmed what sports writers nationwide had first reported last week. A news conference and reception to welcome Chun to the WSU community is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, in the Rankich Club Room at Martin Stadium.

Chun, 43, brings more than two decades of experience as a successful administrator of intercollegiate athletics programs at Florida Atlantic University and The Ohio State University. His accomplishments in fundraising, boosting the academic success rate of student athletes, and building strong community relationships are exemplary.

“When we began our search, we focused on identifying candidates with a blend of high-level leadership experience, vision, and passion—an individual who could lead Cougar athletics to the next level of success,” Schulz said. “In Pat, we’ve found that person.”

Chun’s hiring also advances WSU’s commitment to diversity and continues the emphasis on diversifying WSU’s senior leadership team. Pat becomes the first Asian American athletic director to lead a Power 5 conference school. He begins his duties at WSU on Feb. 5 and wants to travel the state meeting Cougar fans.

Schulz thanked interim athletics director John Johnson for maintaining the momentum of Cougar athletics the past few months. Johnson is credited with keeping outstanding coaches in the WSU fold and with leading a spike in contributions to the Cougar Athletic Fund. The president also thanked the search advisory committee members: June Daugherty, Abu Kamara, Greg Rankich, Gary Schneidmiller, Nancy Swanger, and Jack Thompson.