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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘No place I would rather be’: Washington State elevates Anne McCoy to full-time athletic director

PULLMAN – Anne McCoy has served the past three months as interim director of athletics at Washington State University. On Tuesday, WSU president Kirk Schulz rewarded her with the job on a permanent basis.

McCoy, 56, replaces Pat Chun, who left for rival Washington in late March, and becomes the first woman to hold the position of WSU athletic director.

“Washington State University is an amazing and special place that has been a huge part of our family for over 23 years,” McCoy said in a news release. “It is home.”

McCoy told The Spokesman-Review in late May she expected WSU to name a permanent athletic director in the fall. But she made it clear she was a candidate, and Schulz – who at the time of Chun’s departure said WSU would conduct a national search for his replacement – went with the in-house option.

Since replacing Chun as interim AD, McCoy has hired men’s basketball coach David Riley, swimming coach Russ Whitaker and women’s golf coach Kevin Tucker. McCoy also extended the contract of women’s basketball coach Kamie Ethridge, secured a home for WSU’s baseball and women’s swimming teams through affiliate membership with the Mountain West Conference for the 2024-25 and 2025-26 seasons, and helped the Pac-12 Conference secure a media rights agreement with the CW Network and FOX for the 2024 football season.

A first-time athletic director, McCoy is no stranger to WSU, serving a variety of roles on the senior administrative team since arriving in 2001 as associate director of athletics for internal operations. McCoy, who was hired by former WSU athletic director Jim Sterk, has risen within the athletic department. Most recently, she served as senior deputy director of athletics and senior woman administrator before assuming the interim director of athletics title in March.

Now, McCoy fully assumes the task of leading Washington State into a new era. WSU and Oregon State, the two holdovers in the Pac-12 since news came of its dissolution, are using a two-year grace period allowed by the NCAA to attempt to rebuild the conference. Last fall, the schools won a lawsuit that granted them the conference’s assets.

“Serving this institution with its tremendous history is an honor and one I don’t take lightly,” she said. “I’d like to thank President Schulz and the Board of Regents for entrusting me to lead this talented group of coaches, staff and student-athletes. It is an opportunity unmatched anywhere in the country and there is no place I would rather be than WSU.”

Pac-12 Commissioner Teresa Gould said in a news release that there’s “no one more equipped to provide Washington State with the leadership necessary to navigate the changing landscape of college athletics.”

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Anne for nearly 25 years and have witnessed firsthand her passion for delivering a quality student-athlete experience and building nationally-competitive programs. Her long-standing tenure with WSU puts her in a unique position to make an immediate impact and build upon the impressive track record of success she has already demonstrated on the Palouse.”

Across her past 23 years at WSU, McCoy has worked in all types of capacities in the athletics front office, including as the department’s liaison to the Pac-12 men’s and women’s swimming and diving coaches, vice president of the Pac-12 Executive Committee and in a spot on the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament and Nominating Committees, the Pac-12 Diversity Leadership Initiative and the Pac-10 Senior Woman Administrator and Television committees .

Before her time at Washington State, McCoy spent five years at Portland State, where she began in 1996 as associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator. Two years later, she was promoted to senior associate director of athletics, supervising men’s and women’s golf, cross country/track and field, women’s volleyball, soccer, tennis and softball.

A Wisconsin native, McCoy earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management in 1989 from the University of Massachusetts. She and her husband, Brian, have two children, daughter Taylor and son Jake. Taylor is a former swimmer at WSU, and Jake has committed to swim at Tennessee in the fall of 2025.

Reactions from around the WSU athletics orbit

“Anne has been a steadfast leader in Cougar Athletics for more than 20 years. Her commitment to developing our student-athletes and supporting our coaches makes Anne the absolute right leader at this important time at WSU.” – Lisa Keohokalole Schauer, chair, WSU Board of Regents

“Anne McCoy is one of the more special athletic administrators I’ve worked for. She isn’t good, she’s excellent. During my and my father’s time at Washington State, she got things done and helped us move the basketball program forward in many different ways. If I were a coach, I would be ecstatic to have Anne to help me in leading a program. Anne knows what it takes and is a fierce competitor while being kind and compassionate. She values the student-athlete experience and also supports her coaches. This is a great day for Washington State Athletics.” – Tony Bennett, former WSU and current Virginia men’s hoops coach

“I am so excited for Anne, Brian, Taylor and Jake. This is a great day for them and all of WSU. Anne has been instrumental in a lot of WSU’s success over her tenure. It is definitely her time to lead WSU Athletics. Anne is so dedicated, impressive and knowledgeable. It is exactly what the Cougars need right now. I was so impressed with Anne when I first met her in Maine, I hired her two more times. When I needed her expertise at Portland State and then Washington State, she came and played a huge role. At WSU, Anne and her family found their long time home.” – Jim Sterk, former WSU athletic director

“I’ve talked with many former and present Cougar players, coaches and athletic administrators and I don’t believe there is a more universally loved AND respected person than Anne McCoy. Anne knows the Cougar culture and is passionate to take our athletic department to the next level. In her time as Interim AD she has accomplished a great deal and now is her time to move the department forward. I’m excited to support Anne and our athletic program in any way I can.” – Jack Thompson, WSU athletics hall of famer