Travis Goff - General - Kansas Jayhawks

Travis Goff

TITLE Director of Athletics
PHONE 864-3143


Focused on enhancing culture through value-based leadership, while emphasizing student-athlete wellness and the commitment to providing an inclusive environment, Travis Goff is in his third year as Athletic Director for the University of Kansas. He was appointed to the position by Chancellor Douglas Girod on April 5, 2021.

A Kansas graduate with deep roots in his home state, Goff has already had a memorable tenure leading the Jayhawks in his two-plus seasons back at his Alma mater. In October of 2022, Goff and Chancellor Douglas Girod, announced plans for the Gateway District, which will profoundly change the north entrance to campus with a re-imagined David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium and a state-of-the-art conference center and additional mixed-use development opportunities that will enable year-round use and drive economic development in Lawrence. Goff and Girod announced further details and renderings in August of 2023. Construction on the stadium will begin after the 2023 football season and Phase 1 of David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium will debut in 2025.

On the playing field, Goff has seen the Jayhawks experience major success, highlighted by men’s basketball claiming its sixth National Championship with a 72-69 victory over North Carolina at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans in 2022. In his second full season as Athletic Director, Goff again saw several programs experience breakthrough seasons, including the football program reaching its first bowl game since 2008 with an appearance in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

Other highlights since Goff’s arrival include:

  • Volleyball advancing to its first Sweet Sixteen since 2015 in 2021, and following it up with a second-round appearance in 2022.
  • Women’s Basketball returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013 under the leadership of 2022 Big 12 Coach of the Year Brandon Schneider.
  • Women’s Basketball claiming the 2023 WNIT Championship in front of 11,701 fans at Allen Fieldhouse.
  • Men’s Golf finishing fifth at NCAA Regionals in 2022 to advance to the NCAA Championships for the second time under coach Jamie Bermel, and following it up with another Regional appearance in 2023.
  • Tennis reaching the NCAA Tournament for the fifth and sixth times under coach Todd Chapman, including a first-round win over Charlotte in the 2023 tournament.
  • Swim & Dive finishing second at the Big 12 Championships in 2022 and qualifying Kate Steward for the NCAA Championships in three events.
  • Track and Field earning three All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships and nine at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2022, including five first-team honors between the two events.

Since arriving in Lawrence, Goff has hired three new head coaches. His first hire was head football coach Lance Leipold, a six-time National Champion and the fastest coach in NCAA history to reach 100 career wins. Leipold led the Jayhawks to their first Big 12 Conference road win since 2008 in his first year as coach, before a breakthrough season in year two leading the Jayhawks. In 2022, Leipold and Kansas won six games and played in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, marking the program’s first bowl appearance since the 2008 Insight Bowl. The program also hosted ESPN’s College GameDay for the first time ever, before the team’s matchup against eventual national runner-up, TCU. In Leipold’s third season in 2023, the program again reached bowl eligibility with a thrilling upset of No. 6 Oklahoma, 38-33 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

Outside of Leipold, Goff has also added seven-time conference coach of the year Lindsay Kuhle as the head coach of women’s golf and Dan Fitzgerald, an elite recruiter, player developer and coach to lead the baseball program. Kuhle led the program to NCAA Regionals as an at-large berth for just the second time in its history when the Jayhawks were selected for the Athens, Georgia Regional in 2023. Kuhle and the Jayhawks finished the 2023 fall season, ranked No. 29 in the country, up from No. 65 in 2021. Fitzgerald led the baseball program to its first Big 12 Championship win since 2019 when the Jayhawks topped nationally-ranked Texas 6-3 in May, 2023. Fitzgerald also secured the No. 1 ranked junior college recruiting class in the country, which will make its debut in the 2024 season for Kansas.

In addition to bringing in dynamic new coaches, Goff has also secured some of the top leaders in Kansas Athletics as well, signing both Schneider and Bermel to contract extensions that will keep them in Lawrence for years to come. He also extended Track and Field head coach Stanley Redwine, who served as the head coach of Team USA at the 2022 World Track Championships, and Rowing head coach Carrie Cook-Callen.

Success has not been limited to competition as Kansas student-athletes have had record-breaking performances in the classroom since Goff’s arrival. In the spring of 2023, Kansas student-athletes combined for a 3.40 GPA, which established a new non-COVID era record for KU, while 89 students achieved a perfect 4.0 and 79% of student-athletes received AD Honor Roll status. The 3.40 GPA broke a previous record of 3.33, which was set just the previous semester in the fall of 2022. In Goff’s first year as AD, student-athletes recorded a combined grade point average of 3.20 or higher in both semesters of the  academic year.

Under the leadership of Goff, Kansas Athletics has also taken a thorough and comprehensive examination of the changing landscape in college athletics regarding Name, Image and Likeness. As a result, Kansas announced a partnership with Altius Sports Partners in June 2022 and launched its official NIL Marketplace through Opendorse in August 2022. The Altius partnership is designed to maintain KU Athletics’ position on the cutting edge of the NIL with educational resources for coaches and staff while the Opendorse marketplace – one of the first of its kind in college sports – will maximize NIL support for student-athletes and promises to mobilize the KU fan base and local organizations to best support its student-athletes. Goff and the Jayhawks also created two full-time positions solely dedicated to NIL, adding a Director of NIL Strategy and a Director of NIL, Athlete Brand Development and Partnerships.

Goff, who was named a Next Up honoree by CollegeAD in 2018 and one of Sports Business Journal’s “Power Players in College Sports” in 2019, came to Kansas as a seasoned college athletics administrator and program builder.

Goff returned to Kansas from Northwestern, where he served as Deputy Athletic Director/Assistant Vice President from 2012-21. Some of the Northwestern’s notable accomplishments during his time as an administrative leader there include:

  • More than $400 million in new and renovated facilities
  • Total fundraising of $460 million to Athletics
  • Transformation of sports programs through budget growth and a commitment to passionate, committed and high-character leaders as coaches
  • Bolstering on-campus partnerships and exceptional engagement with alumni and fans
  • Setting new milestones for success in the classroom, in the community and in competition

A Dodge City native who grew up in a family of Jayhawks, Goff got his start in college athletics at KU in the Williams Educational Fund as an undergraduate. Following his ascension to a fulltime role in the department, Goff was hired at Tulane, where he also received his Masters of Business Administration.

During his time in New Orleans, he was part of the team that rebuilt the athletics program following the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina. His more than eight-year tenure was highlighted by his role as Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs where he was responsible for leading the $70 million athletics fundraising campaign to raise funds to develop an on-campus football stadium. He also held oversight of marketing, ticket sales and operations, sponsorships and communications, and served on the department’s executive staff.

Following his successful stay at Tulane, Goff accepted the position of Deputy Athletic Director for Development at Northwestern. In 2016, he added Assistant Vice President to his title.

As part of his role at Northwestern, Goff has been responsible for unprecedented fundraising success as he led all Athletics & Recreation’s development efforts. During his time in Evanston, $460 million was raised to support the department. Throughout his tenure, annual fundraising efforts increased from an average of $6-8 million per year to an average of more than $60 million annually. The department set a university record, raising $97 million in one year alone.

On top of the fundraising efforts he led for the Wildcats, Goff served as the sports administrator for the football, volleyball and baseball programs. He also served on the leadership team for the university’s Alumni Relations and Development staff as an Assistant Vice President. That dual role required consistent engagement across the institution, and led to unmatched collaboration and efficiency with campus partners.

Goff’s leadership in record-setting fundraising created a dramatic transformation of Wildcats facilities during his tenure. In 2018, Northwestern unveiled a $270 million project alongside Lake Michigan, including the 100,000 square-foot Ryan Fieldhouse.  an indoor practice space that has supported the preparation of all 19 Wildcats varsity programs and hosted competition for lacrosse and soccer, and Walter Athletics Center, the new hub of the student-athlete experience including state-of-the-art developmental amenities for academic, sports medicine, athletic training, nutrition, professional development and sports performance support.

He also led the fundraising effort for the $110 million renovation of Welsh-Ryan Arena, the competitive home of Wildcats men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and wrestling. Alongside the arena, Northwestern opened the $25 million Trienens Performance Center, a new dedicated basketball and volleyball practice facility, and indoor training center for baseball and softball.

Goff received his Kansas degrees in Journalism and Sociology, and also holds an MBA from Tulane. He is married to the former Nancy Kockott, a 2005 Tulane alumna (MBA 2008) and former tennis standout for the Green Wave. Together they have two daughters, Ellie and Carly, and a son, Graham.

The Goff File

Alma Mater: University of Kansas, 2002; Tulane University, 2007
Hometown: Dodge City, Kan.
Wife: Nancy
Children: Ellie, Carly and Graham

2021-PresentKansasDirector of Athletics
2016-20NorthwesternDeputy Athletic Director/Assistant Vice President (Development)
2012-16NorthwesternDeputy Athletic Director for Development
2007-12TulaneAssociate Athletic Director for External Relations
2006-07TulaneAssociate Athletic Director for Development
2005-06TulaneDirector of Development/Tulane Athletics Fund
2002-04KansasMembership Services Coordinator – Williams Educational Fund