PULLMAN – Washington State University President Kirk Schulz announced today that he has extended the contract of WSU Athletic Director Pat Chun through 2026. Chun was hired as WSU’s 14th athletic director in February 2018.
“Pat has done an exceptional job of leading our athletics program during the past three years,” Schulz said. “He has proven himself to be one of the nation’s most influential Power 5 athletic directors, guiding Cougar Athletics to success not only in athletic competition, but also in the classroom, in fundraising and in creating innovative programs to benefit the welfare of our student-athletes. Pat personifies the values of Washington State University and we are proud that he is a Coug.”
“I commend President Schulz for retaining our nationally prominent athletic director,” said Brett Blankenship, chair of the WSU Board of Regents. “Continuity is the key when establishing a solid foundation for our student-athletes. Pat Chun has brought a culture of success to the Palouse, and that spirit is evident among our athletes, coaches, and all of Coug Nation. We are excited to keep building on Pat’s success.”
Under the terms of the new five-year agreement, Chun’s base salary is set at $700,000 in the first year and will increase $50,000 annually through the fourth year of the contract. He will receive incentives for achieving annual fundraising and fiscal management goals and will also be eligible for retention incentives that escalate during the period of the agreement. The new contract will take effect on July 1, 2021.
Chun’s original contract included a base salary of $650,000 with an incentive for meeting annual fundraising goals and a retention incentive.
Based on publicly available data, this new package places Chun ninth for total compensation among the 10 athletic directors at public universities in the Pac-12 Conference. Total compensation is defined as the combination of base salary along with other financial incentives.
“My family and I are grateful to President Schulz and the Board of Regents for their continued leadership and support,” said Chun. “It is an honor be a part of the WSU family and to serve an extraordinary group of student-athletes who continue to achieve academically and athletically. A culture of excellence has been established by our coaches and staff and we are now poised and positioned to reach new heights in the coming years.”
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The new contract includes a stipulation that the athletic director is subject to furlough of up to 60 days per calendar year, if WSU needs to implement a University-wide budget reduction in the future. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Chun voluntarily reduced his annual base salary by fifteen percent through June 2021.
Chun is the first Asian-American to serve as the athletic director of a Power 5 school. He was also the first Coug to be named Under Armor Athletic Director of the Year. Chun currently serves on the NCAA Division 1 Council, is co-chair of the Pac-12 Conference ImPACt Leadership Council, recently co-founded the Asian American & Pacific Islander Athletics Alliance (4AAPI) and is a mentor for the National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches.
During his time in the role, Cougar programs have reached NCAA championships in six sports, with student-athletes collecting 35 All-America certificates, 100 All-Conference and 461 Academic All-Conference selections, and five conference champions.
Student-athletes at WSU have also seen notable success off the field during Chun’s tenure. The academic performance of WSU student-athletes has set or tied program highs for cumulative GPA in five of the last six semesters entering the spring of 2021, including a department record 3.35 semester GPA in the spring of 2020. WSU also posted its highest Graduation Success Rate ever in 2018-19.
Chun’s leadership has led to a revitalization of Cougar fundraising as well, setting all-time highs in total donations since his arrival. WSU Athletics raised a record $15 million in overall contributions in his first year and improved on that total in each of the following two years, culminating with a program-record $27.7 million in overall giving for 2019-20.
Additionally, WSU Athletics announced a 10-year, minimum $11 million partnership in March with Gesa Credit Union to provide Gesa with named rights to the playing surface at Martin Stadium.