About Mike Roth

Mike Roth is concluding his 24th season as Gonzaga’s Director of Athletics.

Roth served as an assistant men’s basketball coach from 1982-83 before leaving to pursue other coaching opportunities. He returned in 1987 as Assistant Director of Athletics/Martin Centre Director, a position he held until July 1997, when he was named Acting Director of Athletics. Roth became the Director of Athletics in September 1998.

Under Roth’s leadership, the Zags have thrived with unprecedented success on and off the court, the course, the water, and the field. Successes displayed in decades of NCAA appearances, all-conference performers, departmental GPA performance, NCAA Academic Progress Rate and Graduation Success Rate, All-Americans and Academic All-Americans.

With Roth as Director of Athletics, Gonzaga has earned 73 appearances to NCAA Tournaments or Championships and 31 student-athletes have been named All-Americans.

  • The Gonzaga men’s basketball team has flourished into one of the nation’s most elite programs, becoming the only team in the nation to appear in each of the last six Sweet 16s, and have 30 or more wins in each of the last five seasons (an NCAA record). Since bursting onto the scene with an Elite Eight appearance in 1999, Gonzaga has 22-straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Following the departure of then-head coach Dan Monson after that monumental first NCAA run, Roth elevated assistant coach Mark Few to head coach for the 1999-2000 season. Since then, Few has become the nation’s winningest active coach by percentage. All-told, the Zags have reached the Sweet Sixteen 11 times, earned a Top 10 final national ranking 10 times, and won 17 West Coast Conference Tournaments and 20 WCC regular-season titles, along with producing 29 All-Americans. In 2017 and 2021, the Bulldogs reached the national championship game in both of their Final Four appearances. In the last 20 years, Gonzaga also boasts four out of the six elite student-athletes nationally who earned All-America and Academic All-America Awards in the same year.
  • The women’s basketball team has found great success over the past decades, beginning with Roth’s hiring of Coach Kelly Graves in 2000. Graves led the program to 10-straight WCC regular season titles, seven NCAA Tournament appearances, three Sweet 16s and an Elite Eight in 2011. In April 2014, Roth hired Lisa Fortier to lead the program. In her first season, she earned national recognition as the WBCA Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year, and won the WCC regular season title, leading the Zags to the Sweet 16 as an 11-seed. Fortier added WCC regular season titles in 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021, along with three NCAA appearances.
  • In 2000, the men’s soccer team was the WCC Co-Champion and earned its first ever NCAA Tournament at-large bid in 2001 before making a return trip in 2007.
  • The women’s soccer squad made its inaugural appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2005.
  • The women’s rowing team has won 19 of the last 24 WCC Championships, including nine straight from 1997-2005. They captured the WCC’s inaugural automatic berth into the NCAA Championship in 2013 and has made return trips each of the last five seasons after winning WCC titles each year.
  • The baseball team made its first NCAA appearance in 28 years after winning its inaugural WCC title in 2009 before adding league titles in 2016, 2017 and 2021, and a WCC Tournament title in 2018. In 2016, the squad earned the school’s first ever at-large bid to the NCAA Baseball Championships. This season’s team rose to No. 14 and made another appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
  • The women’s golf team made three consecutive appearances in the NCAA Regional from 2013-15 and had back-to-back individual berths to the NCAA Championships. This past season, GU captured the program’s first-ever WCC title.
  • The women’s cross country team won a WCC title in 2016 and earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships.
  • Recently, the men’s cross country team took a program-best Top-15 national ranking into its first-ever appearance at the NCAA Championships.

Academically, Gonzaga Athletics’ Academic Progress Rates and Graduation Success Rates rank at an elite level, breaking numerous historical records at GU with Gonzaga holding the nation’s best or second-best NCAA Academic Progress Rate each of the last four years. In the classroom, the Bulldogs have averaged a 3.0 GPA or higher in 44 straight semesters dating back to the fall of 1998. During Roth’s tenure, more than 3,500 student-athletes have been named to the President’s List (3.7 GPA or higher) or Dean’s List (3.5-3.69 GPA) with the highest being 163 in the 2018-19 academic year. Nationally, 25 student-athletes have garnered Academic All-America accolades.

In addition to the athletic and academic success under Roth’s leadership, Gonzaga Athletics has put a significant focus on community outreach. GU student-athletes have served thousands of hours of volunteer work at numerous local and regional agencies.

During his time at the helm, Roth has overseen the upgrades and additions of multiple facilities. In 2003, the Kermit Rudolf Fitness Center was opened for Gonzaga students, faculty and staff, and then in 2004, GU opened the McCarthey Athletic Center, a 6,000-seat basketball arena, home to the men’s and women’s basketball teams. In 2005, Gonzaga opened the Harry A. Green Indoor Rowing Facility, giving GU one of the most progressive indoor training facilities on the West Coast. In 2007, the Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field was dedicated, followed by the new Gonzaga Soccer Field, the Diedrick/DeLong Athletic Training Center, and an academic lab in 2008. The soccer field was dedicated as Luger Field in the summer of 2014, with stadium lights added in 2016. Gonzaga dedicated the baseball stadium to a former great player and coach in 2018, renaming it the Patterson Baseball Complex and Coach Steve Hertz Field.

In 2014, Roth and GU opened The Stevens Center, a state-of-the-art indoor tennis and golf facility featuring six tennis courts and an expansive golf practice facility with four simulators. In fall 2017, the Volkar Center for Athletic Achievement was completed, a 51,240-square-foot facility that houses the Rian G. Oliver Student-Athlete Enrichment Lab, the Karen Gaffney Champions Room, the Brown Family basketball practice court, a weight room, the Wolff Family Hall of Honor, and multiple meeting areas. In fall 2019, the Johnson Family Boathouse on Silver Lake was opened as the home for GU men’s and women’s rowing.

Roth twice received Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year honors, first in 2008-09 and again in 2018-19.

Roth’s connection to the Gonzaga community will continue as he has graciously agreed to stay on for several years to continually support and grow Gonzaga’s athletic programs. Additionally, as a native of Moses Lake, Wash., Roth looks forward to spending more time with his wife Dr. Linda Roth and their two sons, Dr. Brad Roth and his wife Ashley, and Dr. Matt Roth.