The building was buzzing as the University of Kansas community and members of the media gathered in the Lied Center Wednesday morning to welcome KU’s new Athletic Director Travis Goff.
Before Goff could speak, though, another Goff family member drew some attention. Goff’s youngest son, Graham, was a ball of energy, breaking through the yellow “do not sit in this row” tape in a full sprint before being grabbed and brought back to his seat with the rest of the Goff family.
After speaking to Goff for the first time, it’s clear where Graham gets his energy from.
“To the coaches and staff at KU, we are going to do incredible things together. We are going to propel the University of Kansas forward, and we’re going to have some fun doing so,” Goff said. “We are going to lift up this University and we are going to lift up, most importantly, our student athletes.”
Goff has an impressive resume working in collegiate athletics, holding the Deputy Director of Athletics and Assistant Vice President of Development title at Northwestern since 2012. Goff also worked as the Tulane University Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs from 2006-2012, helping the program rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.
“It’s taken more than two decades, so many selfless mentors and supporters, and some divine intervention to help me find my way back to Lawrence,” Goff said. “But I assure you, it’s been worth every second of that wait.”
Both of Goff’s experiences at Tulane and Northwestern helped prepare him to be an AD, and Goff said that this job at KU is one he’s dreamed of.
“You hear about dream jobs, about destination jobs. This is my destination job,” Goff said. “This is where I received an incredible education, where I started my career, and where I fell in love with college athletics. It's an absolute honor of my professional lifetime to come back and serve my alma mater.”
Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod, who spoke before introducing Goff, gave the Dodge City native high praise.
“Over the course of his career, he’s really established himself as both one of the most talented and respected administrators in athletics across the country,” Girod said. “Not only does he have the skillset for this job, but he’s a great fit for this job for a number of reasons.”
Those reasons include Goff’s commitment to student-athletes, his character, and his vision for Kansas Athletics, Girod said. Goff also noted that being of good character and getting involved in the community is important.
“You’re going to see the Goff’s, when we get COVID fully in the rearview, out in this community and on this campus. They are going to be an ingrained part of the Jayhawk community,” Goff said.
Goff will be a busy man to start his tenure, as the football program still has some question marks on who will be the next head coach. Goff addressed this and said that there are certainly some “immediate priorities” to take care of.
“Those [priorities] are real and really critical. We are going to tackle those, we are going to address those, we are going to use those as really important building blocks because the most important days are not today, next week, or the week after,” Goff said. “This is going to be something that has to be built for sustained success, and that’s exactly what I’m here to do.”
For the full introductory press conference, visit here.