It is now being widely reported (on Twitter, by Jesse Newell, Mike Vernon, and others) that Travis Goff, currently the Deputy Director of Athletics at Northwestern (in the Big 10), has agreed to become the next Athletic Director at the University of Kansas.
EDIT: The University of Kansas confirmed the news with a press release at 5:19 PM local time. In that release, the University indicated Goff will have an introductory news conference at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, April 7 (livestream on the KUAthletics homepage), and will begin his new duties immediately.
Goff, a Dodge City native, completed his undergraduate degrees (journalism and sociology) at KU, attending graduate school at Tulane. His work experience includes time in the KU athletics department as well as Associate Athletic Director at Tulane prior to his time at Northwestern.
As for professional accomplishments, Goff oversaw the rebuild of the Tulane athletic department following Hurricane Katrina. He also led the charge on raising revenue to build Tulane’s new on-campus football stadium (which opened two years after his departure).
At Northwestern, per his university bio Goff is the sport administrator for the football, volleyball, and baseball programs. He also leads NU’s fundraising initiatives, recently setting a school record in donations.
So, while not a sitting AD, Goff checks off a lot of boxes people are looking for. He’s experienced, has P5 connections, has been around successful college football programs, and even checks the KU alum box.
Goff is obviously walking into a tough situation at Kansas. The last two athletic directors have been unmitigated disasters, so at least the bar isn’t very high: be semi-competent, and don’t be a troll to the fanbase. He no longer has to worry about Bill Self’s contract, but Kansas basketball is still under NCAA investigation so he will have to deal with any fallout from that.
In the meantime, Kansas football is, well, Kansas football. One of the first things Goff will have to deal with is the head coach situation - does he go out and attempt to hire a head coach over the summer, or does he stick with an immensely popular interim coach?
Additionally, I’ve seen plenty of speculation that realignment will soon rear its ugly head again, and if so, Goff may have to lead KU through that as well. Note that the Big 12 TV contract expires in 2025.
And as if that wasn’t enough, he’ll be dealing with a pandemic-related budget crunch that is affecting the entire athletic department.
But for now, let’s welcome him home to Lawrence. Give him a follow on Twitter if you’re so inclined, @tgoff11.