Despite a report indicating he’d become a candidate for the vacant athletic director job at the University of Kansas, Washington State’s Pat Chun has not interviewed for the position and doesn’t intend to, a source with close knowledge of the situation confirmed to The Spokesman-Review on Tuesday.
According to tweet from Mike Vernon, a Kansas graduate who formerly worked at Bleacher Report and the San Francisco Chronicle, Chun “impressed in interviews” with Kansas and was viewed as a potential target for the Jayhawks, who are looking to replace the recently departed Jeff Long.
It’s unclear if there was any communication between Chun and Kansas, but a source told The S-R there was never a formal interview between the parties and WSU’s athletic director won’t be interviewing for the position.
Since he arrived at WSU in January 2018 from Florida Atlantic, Chun’s used his fundraising acumen to bring in record donations to the Cougar Athletic Fund. At the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year, WSU reported record donations to the CAF, with annual giving revenue at $7.76 million and overall giving at $15.49 million.
Recently, Chun struck a corporate sponsorship with GESA Credit Union of Richland for naming rights to the playing surface at Martin Stadium. The deal is worth a minimum $11 million over the next 10 years.
Chun’s fundraising prowess was instrumental in generating donations for the recently completed “Back to Omaha” baseball facility project. The $10 million facility, which includes a new locker room, weight room and coaching office adjacent to Bailey-Brayton Field, was funded entirely through private donations.
Chun has also made coaching hires in each of the school’s three major sports, tabbing Kyle Smith for men’s basketball in 2018, Brian Green for baseball in 2019 and Nick Rolovich for football in 2020. In 2018, Chun also hired women’s basketball coach Kamie Ethridge, who recently guided the Cougars to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 30 years.
The first Asian American athletic director at the Power Five level, Chun has been named in multiple AD searches over the past few years and was considered as a potential candidate for the USC job in 2019 before the Trojans hired Mike Bohn.
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