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Washington hires athletic director Pat Chun away from rival Washington State

Washington hired athletic director Pat Chun away from Apple Cup rival Washington State on Tuesday, reaching across the state to fill its AD job about a week after it surprisingly came open.

Washington was stung last week when athletic director Troy Dannen left after less than six months on the job to take over at Nebraska. Dannen’s introductory news conference in Lincoln, Nebraska, was on Tuesday.

The school quickly targeted Chun, who has been at Washington State since 2018. The Cougars are facing an uncertain future and trying to rebuild the Pac-12 after the departure of Washington and nine other schools led to the conference’s collapse.

“It is truly an honor for my family and I to join the University of Washington family, and I look forward to doing my part to help elevate the athletics program and the University,” Chun said in a statement.

Chun takes over in Seattle as Washington prepares to leave for the Big Ten. Chun, an Ohio native, has extensive experience in the Big Ten, having spent 15 years at Ohio State as executive associate AD.

“Our transition to the Big Ten is a critical step in our journey and great things lie ahead for the Huskies!” he said.

Chun served on the NCAA’s Division I Transformation Committee, was part of the College Football Playoff selection committee and is currently a member of the Division I Council.

“Pat has a track record of success and a wealth of experience — from 15 years in the Big Ten and service on national groups guiding the future of college sports, to securing community support and a commitment to the well-being of student-athletes,” Washington President Ana Mari Cauce said. “He knows our state, is highly respected in national athletics circles and has an eye for talent.”

Before coming to Washington State, Chun was athletic director at Florida Atlantic for five years.

Washington has gone through massive turnover in its athletic department since last summer, when AD Jen Cohen was hired away by Southern California.

That came shortly after the school announced it was leaving the Pac-12, along with Oregon, to join the Big Ten in August 2024, a move that triggered the demise of the conference, with only Washington State and Oregon State being left behind. The remaining schools and departing 10 finalized a separation agreement Monday.

Dannen was hired from Tulane to replace Cohen in October, during a football season in which the Huskies went to the College Football Playoff national championship game and lost to Michigan.

A few days later, football coach Kalen DeBoer left for Alabama to replace Nick Saban after just two seasons in Seattle.

Dannen hired Jedd Fisch from Arizona to replace DeBoer, fired men’s basketball coach Mike Hopkins and then left himself for Nebraska — before officially replacing Hopkins. Utah State’s Danny Sprinkle was named Washington coach on Monday and his new boss was hired a day later in Chun.