Todd Turner Named AD at Washington

SEATTLE – The search for a permanent athletic director at the University of Washington ended Saturday evening, as the university President Mark Emmert formally announced the hiring of Todd Turner to fill the role at a 5 p.m. press conference at the Don James Center. His appointment as athletic director is subject to approval by the University's Board of Regents.

Turner, who becomes the fifteenth athletic director in Washington's history, is a veteran of 28 years as a college athletic administrator, with prior stops at North Carolina State University, the University of Connecticut, the University of Virginia, and, most recently, Vanderbilt University.

His seven-year tenure as director of athletics at Vanderbilt ended last September when his position dissolved under the university's restructuring of the athletic department, which placed it under the direction of the newly-created Office of Student Athletics, Recreation and Wellness.

"What I was looking for in an athletic director was somebody who will lead this program to be one of the finest athletic programs in the United States because that's what we aspire for," said Emmert. "We found that Todd Turner was that person, an individual who has experience at several different universities at the highest level of competition, at some of the top academic institutions in the country, somebody who is a national leader in the NCAA, somebody who is respected for his integrity and for his commitment to excellence in both academics and athletics."

Turner, 53, was chosen after a national search by a 15-person search committee, chaired by Michael Eisenberg, dean of the University's Information School.

While Turner's contract is still not entirely completed, Emmert says it is tentatively set for five years at $325,000 per year before incentives. The university president added that it would be in the $420,000 range on an annual basis after incentives. Along with that, the university has a plan in the works for a low interest loan of $475,000 to help Turner purchase a house in the Seattle area.

Joined by his wife, Sara, and one of his four children, 14-year-old son Drew, Turner expressed gratitude to the university, specifically President Emmert, for the opportunity to come to Washington.

"To those who don't know President Emmert well, I can tell you having served along side him in the Southeastern Conference that he is an exceptional leader," said Turner. "He has incredible vision for not only the University of Washington, but also for high education. He is the primary reason why I decided that this is the very best place for me professionally. I'd like to thank him for this opportunity."

Turner noted several other factors that attracted him to Washington.

"When I walked on the campus, that desire to be the very best was shared by everyone I met," he said, first and foremost.

He continued, "The second reason is my life-long goal to be in a position where in someway I can help influence and define the proper balance between collegiate athletics and higher education.

"I am very excited to be coming to the University of Washington. It is one of this nation's great public universities, with one of the strongest athletic departments in the country. I am eager to work with President Emmert in creating the best possible environment for our student-athletes to advance both their academic and athletic goals, and to work with a highly-respected group of coaches and a dedicated support staff."

Challenged with questions about possible NCAA sanctions in the near future, Turner said he preferred to focus on the future.

"I'm not terribly concerned about the past," he said. "I'm more concerned about what lies ahead. I can't predict the outcome of that."

Turner is expected to be moved into his office on campus by early August. Top Stories