Chris Standiford Named Director of Athletics

Chris Standiford
June 08, 2021
Gonzaga Athletics

Has Been with GU Athletics for 28 Years

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University President Dr. Thayne McCulloh today announced that Chris Standiford will be the next Director of Athletics at GU. Standiford currently serves as the department’s Deputy Director of Athletics and Chief Operating Officer. He will succeed Mike Roth, who is retiring after 24 years in the position, on Aug. 31.

“I am very pleased to appoint Chris Standiford as Gonzaga’s next Athletic Director. Chris is very well-known within Gonzaga Athletics and enjoys the confidence of colleagues both internally and externally,” McCulloh said. “We are confident that Gonzaga Athletics will reach new heights under his leadership as A.D., just as it has enjoyed the benefit of his leadership and perspective over the course of nearly thirty years. The essential role he has played within Gonzaga Athletics over many years has been a key part of our success, and it has earned him the trust of colleagues and supporters. I am grateful for his willingness to serve in this role and look forward to working together with him in the coming months and years.”

Standiford officially joined Gonzaga Athletics in January 1993. In his current role as the Deputy Director of Athletics and Chief Operating Officer, Standiford is responsible for daily operation and oversight of the department, while also serving as the sport administrator for baseball, women’s and men’s golf, and women’s and men’s rowing.

“I am humbled and deeply grateful for this opportunity,” Standiford said. “Thank you to Dr. McCulloh for his trust and belief in me to lead this amazing group of student-athletes, coaches, and staff. His leadership and support have been instrumental in our success and I look forward to working more closely with him to continue the success and evolution of athletics at Gonzaga. Words cannot convey my gratitude and the admiration I have for Mike Roth. As a mentor for over 30 years, he has shown grace, patience, and trust. He has taught me by example the art of leading with compassion and care, while never compromising in the pursuit of excellence. I am thrilled to have his continued support and counsel as I move into this new role.”

Standiford provides operational administrative support for Gonzaga’s highly successful women’s and men’s basketball programs, serving as the Primary Team Administrator in each of the Gonzaga Men’s Basketball program’s 22 consecutive NCAA appearances.  Standiford also serves as Gonzaga’s representative on the West Coast Conference Basketball Cabinet. 

“I am looking forward to partnering with Chris as we move forward into this next era of GU Athletics,” said Gonzaga Men’s Basketball Head Coach Mark Few. “Chris has been here and been a big part of this great run over the last 22 years. He has a great understanding of what works and what we need to do to continue to move the athletic department forward.”

“We are really happy that Chris Standiford will be leading our athletic department through the next stage,” Gonzaga Women’s Basketball Head Coach Lisa Fortier said. “He is loyal and committed to this program. I know how much he has invested in Gonzaga Athletics over his time in the department and has been a part of every success that each of us has had. We are very excited to work alongside him to take the program to the next level.”

Following his hire in 1993 as Gonzaga’s Assistant Martin Centre Director, Standiford managed facilities and game operations for all events involving athletic department facilities. Since then, he has played a key role in every facility addition in Gonzaga Athletics.

In 2009, Standiford added oversight and leadership of GU’s external operations, including fundraising and revenue generation for the athletic department. Standiford is also responsible for the department’s relationship with Gonzaga Sports Properties, GU’s multi-media rights holder and locally based Learfield IMG College team.

“I’m excited for Chris and Gonzaga Athletics,” Gonzaga Sports Properties General Manager Mark Livingston said. “I’m positive he will continue to build on Gonzaga’s success. Chris has been a great supporter of Gonzaga Sports Properties, and has been instrumental in our relationships with our corporate partners.”

Standiford has served on the NCAA Division I Women’s Rowing Selection Committee (2006-09) and currently serves on the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee.

“Chris Standiford is the right guy to lead this athletic department,” Gonzaga Baseball Head Coach Mark Machtolf said. “He has been instrumental in the progress of all the programs at GU and will continue to help push Gonzaga to new heights.”

In January 2021, Standiford was named a Top Assistant Athletic Director by Silver Waves Media. The annual list is compiled after research and consulting with coaches, presidents, search firms, and numerous influencers in collegiate basketball.

Growing up in Spokane, Standiford earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Gonzaga in 1991 and a Master’s in Athletic Administration in 1993 while serving as a Graduate Assistant in the athletic department during those two years. He was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director in 1997 and Associate Athletic Director in 2002. In September 2006, he was promoted to Senior Associate Athletic Director and has served as Deputy Director of Athletics/Chief Operating Officer since 2015.

“I begin this new role with both humility and great confidence, grounded in the trust and admiration I have for those with whom I work,” Standiford said. “Our student-athletes’ and coaches’ achievements, in competition, the classroom, and in the community are remarkable and a great source of institutional pride. The amazing staff and administrators that support these efforts are equally remarkable. In particular, I want to thank Shannon Strahl for her willingness to accept the critical role of Deputy Athletic Director, Chief Operating Officer as a major component of this transition.”

Standiford and his wife Julie (GU BA '92, MA '99) have three children: their son Thomas (GU '21), and daughters Camryn (GU '23) and Allyson.