The University of Washington is finalizing a deal to hire Tulane athletic director Troy Dannen as the school’s new athletic direction, sources told ESPN.
Dannen has been Tulane’s athletic director since December of 2015 and helped usher that school’s football program and into one of the strongest Group of Five programs in the country, as Tulane won a conference championship and beat USC in the Cotton Bowl last year.
Dannen will lead Washington into its debut season in the Big Ten in 2024-25, as the school joined the league this summer. He takes over at a time when the Huskies are No. 7 in the country in football and coach Kalen DeBoer has emerged as one of the sport’s most promising young coaches.
Dannen’s experience in the football space was attractive to the Washington brass, as he’s in his fourth year as Chair of the NCAA Football Competition Committee and is an Executive Committee member of the Football Oversight Committee.
Dannen takes over for Jen Cohen, who left for USC in August. He’ll be the first outside athletic director to take over at Washington since Todd Turner in 2004, as both Scott Woodward and Cohen were internal promotions.
Dannen hired Willie Fritz as head coach his first week on the job in 2015, and last year he led Tulane to its first league title since 1998 and the Cotton Bowl win led to a No. 9 final ranking. Tulane’s basketball team won 20 games last year under Ron Hunter, and the overall athletic year is regarded as one of the best in Tulane history.
Tulane has started off this season 4-1 in football and is considered a favorite to repeat as champions in the American Athletic Conference. Fritz has been to four bowl games in his tenure, the same amount that Tulane went to from 1987 through 2013.
Prior to his eight years at Tulane, Dannen spent eight years as the athletic director at Northern Iowa from 2008-15.
While at Tulane, Dannen served on the Transformation Committee, a select group of leaders co-chaired by Greg Sankey of the SEC and Julie Cromer of Ohio University that formed in 2021 and examined all the of issues shaping college sports.
Both Tulane and Washington, coincidentally, have byes this week.