Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
Sports >  Gonzaga basketball

Gonzaga commemorates longtime athletic director Mike Roth with street renaming, scholarship prior to Texas game

UPDATED: Sat., Nov. 13, 2021

Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh announces that the campus road in front of the McCarthey Athletic Center is being nameMike Roth Way after for former Gonzaga Athletic Director Mike Roth, on right, during a ceremony before the Bulldogs game with Texas, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in the McCarthey Athletic Center.  (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh announces that the campus road in front of the McCarthey Athletic Center is being nameMike Roth Way after for former Gonzaga Athletic Director Mike Roth, on right, during a ceremony before the Bulldogs game with Texas, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in the McCarthey Athletic Center. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Mike Roth’s legacy at Gonzaga is unmistakable and going forward, the road that runs just south of McCarthey Athletic Center will carry the namesake of the school’s longtime athletic director. 

Roth, who retired as GU’s athletic director on Aug. 31 after 34 years at the school and 24 as the Bulldogs’ AD, was commemorated prior to matchup between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 5 Texas at the Kennel. The school announced the renaming of Lower Kennedy Drive, the road that runs directly south of McCarthey, the Volkar Center and the Martin Centre, to Mike Roth Way.

Joined by his wife Linda, Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh, new athletic director Chris Standiford, deputy athletic director Shannon Strahl and Gonzaga coach Mark Few, Roth was presented with a commemorative plaque at center court with a “Mike Roth Way” road sign minutes before tipoff between the Bulldogs and Longhorns.

Along with the street renaming, Gonzaga introduced “The Mike and Linda Roth Endowed Scholarship” as an opportunity for aspiring athletic administrators to begin their careers at Gonzaga. The school is looking to raise $1 million for the endowment, “which will disperse next year and provide funds in perpetuity, allowing Gonzaga to honor Mike and continue his legacy of development of young professionals,” according to a release.

Roth said he knew about the pregame ceremony, but indicated he wasn’t aware of the road renaming. Midway through the second half of Saturday’s game, the former AD told The Spokesman-Review he was left “speechless” by the gesture.

“I was shocked by it, I didn’t know anything about it,” Roth said. “I thought when they announced the scholarship, which I didn’t know about, that was it. I thought, that’s great. Then they announced the Mike Roth Way. Speechless, it’s just unbelievable. They named a street after me.

“Mind boggling. I’m not sure I deserve it. I’ve been so blessed. Gonzaga’s so special and this just means the world to me.”

In more than two decades at the helm of GU’s athletic department, Roth oversaw a handful of facility transformations, including renovations to McCarthey Athletic Center and the Volkar Center. During Roth’s tenure, Gonzaga athletes won 66 West Coast Conference championships and 74 postseason NCAA appearances will leading the nation in graduation rate.

Roth also mentored a handful of GU athletes during his time as AD, including his successor, Standiford, along with Strahl – both of whom began their careers as graduate students under Roth.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Follow along with the Zags

Subscribe to our Gonzaga Basketball newsletter to stay up with the latest news.