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Meet the AD: KU introduces Travis Goff to Jayhawk family

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 9:29 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - KU director of athletics Travis Goff landed in Lawrence Tuesday ready to get to work.

The next day, the university introduced him to the public in a masks-required press conference.

“You hear about dream jobs, 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.”

The Dodge City-native and 2002 KU graduate has a lot of decisions to make and challenges to face early on in his tenure: from NCAA sanctions facing the men’s basketball team, to financial struggles in the wake of COVID.

“With all the challenges that our athletic department faces, with so many different things that have been fairly well-documented ... this individual person is the guy as we’re moving back to some normalcy, is the perfect guy to tie it together,” head men’s basketball coach Bill Self said.

Just five months ahead of football season, Goff is tasked with naming KU’s next head football coach to replace Les Miles.

“Where we’re at exactly on Day 2, I come in open-minded,” Goff said of the hiring process. “I come in wanting to listen, learn, absorb, understand where we’re at with this football program. There’s a plan and it’s more about the when and the understanding of how to go forward in that plan.”

The former Northwestern deputy AD joins KU with no experience holding the top job at a university’s athletic department — but that doesn’t worry KU chancellor Douglas Girod.

“When you look at what Travis brought to the table, irrespective of him being a Jayhawk, you look at the skill set, all the experiences and talk to the people that are around him, you realize this guy’s a rising star,” Girod said. “He’s going to make the next move, and we wanted it to be at Kansas.”

“I haven’t listened to a lot of great public speakers, but that right there, he’s right at the top,” Self said. “I mean, he killed it today.”

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