UW Huskies have found new AD in Tulane’s Troy Dannen

Oct 7, 2023, 8:41 AM | Updated: 2:29 pm

UW Huskies Michael Penix Jr. Ja'Lynn Polk...

Michael Penix Jr. and Ja'Lynn Polk of the UW Huskies celebrate a touchdown against the California. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

As the UW Huskies entered their final football season as a member of the Pac-12 Conference, they also entered it without an athletic director.

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Jen Cohen, who led Washington’s athletic department from 2016 until August of this year, left Seattle for Los Angeles, taking the vacant athletic director job at fellow Pac-12 school USC. Both UW and USC are heading to the Big Ten starting next year, and Washington joining the conference was the last big move Cohen was involved in at the University.

After more than a month of that position being held by interim director Erin O’Connell, the university has found its next full-time AD.

Troy Dannen has Troy Dannen has been tabbed as the next man to lead Washington’s athletic department. Dannen has held that same position at Tulane since 2015. The hire was made official by the University of Washington Saturday afternoon.

“Troy is committed to excellence across all sports, as well as the success of our students off the field. I’m so thrilled to welcome him and his family to our Husky family because I know he has a deep commitment to student-athletes — enabling them to be champions in competition, in the classroom, and most importantly, in their lives after graduation. He’s also a leader in the national conversations about the changing landscape of college sports, which as we move to the Big Ten will be invaluable to securing the long-term success of Husky Athletics,” UW president Ana Mari Cauce said in a statement announcing the hire.

“I am so honored to have the opportunity to serve the University of Washington, our students, coaches, staff, faculty and incredible fans,” Dannen said. “Throughout this process, the passion, love and spirit of the UW was evident in every conversation, as was the alignment necessary for comprehensive success. We will compete for championships, and we will provide an unmatched experience for our student-athletes. The future has never been brighter for Husky Athletics, and I am humbled to steward the next chapter in our storied history.”

The hire was reported Saturday morning by ESPN’s Pete Thamel, who said in his story that Dannen is in his fourth year as chair of the NCAA Football Competition Committee and is an executive committee member of the Football Oversight Committee, which made him a very attractive hire with the Huskies set to join the Big Ten starting next year.

Dannen will be Washington’s first outside hire for athletic director since 2004 as the two most recent ADs – Scott Woodward and Cohen – were promoted internally.

Under Dannen, Tulane became one of the better Group of Five football programs in the country. That was especially true last year, when the Green Wave finished 12-2 and No. 9 in the country, capping off their season with a big 46-45 upset of USC in the Cotton Bowl.

Before joining Tulane, Dannen was athletic director at Northern Iowa from 2008-15.

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