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April 27, 2010 at 3:57 PM

Woodward reacts to Emmert departure, plans to stay at UW “a long time”

University of Washington athletic director Scott Woodward first met Mark Emmert in 1999 and their paths have been closely linked ever since.
Woodward, then running his own PR firm, came calling on Emmert that year to get some business from LSU. Emmert instead hired Woodward for a job as LSU’s director of external affairs. And when Emmert came here in 2004, Woodward came along, first working in external relations for the entire university, then taking over as athletic director in 2008.
But Woodward said Tuesday their paths will now diverge. As Emmert heads to become president of the NCAA today, Woodward said he plans to stay put at UW.
“I love being here and I’m the athletic director and love what I do and I plan on being here a long time,” Woodward said.
He has a three-year signed contract with UW that secures his immediate future.
And while Emmert was a strong supporter of athletics, Woodward said his departure shouldn’t negatively impact the department’s future, or the renovation of Husky Stadium.
Of Husky Stadium, Woodward said: “I think the leadership of the University has been supportive and been included in the Husky Stadium process the whole way, whether it be the Board of Regents or the Provost’s office or anyone involved. This is a campus-wide effort that a lot of people are involved in.”
Woodward also said he isn’t worried that a new president wouldn’t share Emmert’s enthusiasm for athletics.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “When you show people that sports has a clear role at the University of Washington — it is a role, it’s a limited role, it’s an integral part of the University of Washington — you have strong support. And I think that’s campus wide.”
Woodward said that the luring of Emmert by the NCAA “happened pretty quickly” but otherwise didn’t go into details about what he knew and when he knew it.
He said that the NCAA “is lucky to have a leader of his quality and skill set and they will flourish under his leadership.”

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