Chun Leaves Alma Mater for FAU AD Job
By Patrick Maks
COLUMBUS, Ohio — After 15 years with Ohio State’s department of athletics, Patrick Chun is leaving his alma mater to become the director of athletics at Florida Athletic University.
FAU ended its two-month national search Monday, hiring the now-former OSU executive associate athletics director for external relations who began his career in the athletics communications office in 1997.
“Florida Atlantic University is a dynamic institution whose achievements continue to grow at an incredible pace,” Chun said in a statement.
“It is both humbling and exciting to have the opportunity to lead its department of athletics, and I look forward to working with a great team of people who are passionate about the Owls.”
FAU's athletic department is closer to the University of Ohio than Ohio State, with an operating budget of $14.36 million in 2010-11—the nation's 84th largest. Compare that to Ohio State’s budget of $89.5 million.
“Being at a place like Ohio State gets you ready,” Chun said during his introductory press conference.
“This is a huge opportunity. The potential is here... You know in sports, no one judges you on potential, they judge you on results. We know that we have to put some results together pretty soon.”
A native of Strongsville, Chun, 37, will oversee 18 intercollegiate teams and some 450 student-athletes at FAU.
OSU director of athletics Gene Smith said Chun’s service to the university is “immeasurable.”
“His talents and skills will be missed in a significant way,” Smith said in a statement.
“I want to personally thank him for his service to our student athletes. I wish he and Natalie all the best. FAU is fortunate to have his leadership.”
Having worked in the sunshine state himself at the University of Florida, OSU football coach Urban Meyer said FAU and the entire Boca Raton community will “embrace this young man” and called Chun “a rising star in athletics administration.”
“I commend Florida Atlantic University’s hire of Pat Chun as its new director of athletics,” Meyer said in a statement.
“In the seven months I have gotten to know Pat and see him work, he has proven to be a very pragmatic and thoughtful leader and administrator.”
Former Ohio State coach and current vice president of strategic engagement at the University of Akron also applauded the hire, citing Chun’s work ethic among other things.
“Pat and Natalie Chun will be difference-makers for the entire FAU community and the great state of Florida,” Jim Tressel said.
“Pat was instrumental in our successes at Ohio State both on the field of play and in the classroom. A tireless worker and a fine leader, Pat will be an important key in President MJ Saunders’ strategy to take FAU to the next level of excellence.”
In his tenure at OSU, Chun began as an assistant director of athletics communications, his role primarily with the school’s football and baseball programs before working his way up to his final role at the school as executive associate athletics director for external relations.
Chun’s efforts throughout his career at OSU helped complete a $21 million football facility renovation, a $5.1 million softball stadium project, $3 million boathouse, and a $3.3 million indoor tennis facility.
In his final role at OSU as the executive associate athletics director for external relations, Chun oversaw a 20 percent increase annually in overall giving to the Ohio State department of athletics—totaling $117.8 million in three years.
Chun is on the executive committee for the National Association for Athletics Development Directors (NAADD) and is a board member for the Columbus, Ohio chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
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