Gonzaga University announces new Athletic Director, Chris Standiford

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University announced Chris Standiford will be the university’s new Athletic Director.

The decision was announced during a press conference where outgoing AD Mike Roth announced his retirement.

“I am very pleased to appoint Chris Standiford as Gonzaga’s next Athletic Director. Chris is very well-known within Gonzaga Athletics and enjoys the confidence of colleagues both internally and externally,” McCulloh said. “We are confident that Gonzaga Athletics will reach new heights under his leadership as A.D., just as it has enjoyed the benefit of his leadership and perspective over the course of nearly thirty years. The essential role he has played within Gonzaga Athletics over many years has been a key part of our success, and it has earned him the trust of colleagues and supporters. I am grateful for his willingness to serve in this role and look forward to working together with him in the coming months and years.”

Standiford, a Spokane native, has worked with Gonzaga Athletics since 1993 and is a double alumnus from Gonzaga University. Until recently, Standiford had been serving as the deputy director for Gonzaga Athletics and Chief Operating Officer—a role which saw him providing operational administrative support for Gonzaga’s incredibly basketball programs.

Gonzaga President Dr. Thayne McCulloh said Standiford has the “talent, knowledge and experience to take Gonzaga forward.”

“I am humbled and deeply grateful for this opportunity,” Standiford said. “Thank you to Dr. McCulloh for his trust and belief in me to lead this amazing group of student-athletes, coaches and staff. His leadership and support have been instrumental in our success and I look forward to working more closely with him to continue the success and evolution of athletics at Gonzaga. Words cannot convey my gratitude and the admiration I have for Mike Roth. As a mentor for over 30 years, he has shown grace, patience and trust. He has taught me by example the art of leading with compassion and care, while never compromising in the pursuit of excellence. I am thrilled to have his continued support and counsel as I move into this new role.”

Shannon Strahl, Senior Associate Director of Athletics, was appointed to deputy director and chief operating officer.

“I begin this new role with both humility and great confidence, grounded in the trust and admiration I have for those with whom I work,” Standiford said. “Our student-athletes’ and coaches’ achievements, in competition, the classroom and in the community are remarkable and a great source of institutional pride. The amazing staff and administrators that support these efforts are equally remarkable. In particular I want to thank Shannon Strahl for her willingness to accept the critical role of Deputy Athletic Director, Chief Operating Officer as a major component of this transition.”