Tim McDiffett, the current interim athletic director, will be retiring at the end of June, according to an announcement made by UAA Chancellor Sam Gingerich. Greg Myford has been hired as the next athletic director, and he will start July 31.
“Tim [McDiffett] is the consummate team player. Over the past four decades, his unwavering leadership has been critical to the stability and growth of the athletic department,” Gingerich said. “On three separate occasions, he has stepped into the role of interim athletic director, graciously bridging the gap for UAA’s student-athletes until a new director could be found. His commitment, first and foremost, has always been to our student-athletes.”
McDiffett joined the Seawolves over 30 years ago as the sports information director after completing four years writing for The Anchorage Times as the sports editor.
“I will miss the interaction with our outstanding student-athletes, who have consistently represented UAA with great distinction. I have taken great pride in watching them grow, develop and achieve their academic and athletic goals,” McDiffett said.
McDiffett was promoted to assistant athletic director in 1985, and promoted again to associate athletic director from 1991-2013.
During his time at UAA, McDiffett contributed to many key attributes of the athletic department including corporate sponsorships, advertising, marketing, promotion, merchandising and licensing.
His experience at The Anchorage Times and as the sports information director eventually led to his promotion to assistant athletic director in 1985 and again to associate athletic director from 1991-2013.
Through his contributions, McDiffett has helped the department, teams and athletes accumulate an average of 2,500 volunteer hours per year, an average of a 3.2 GPA, an additional 71 All-Americans, 10 national top-10 finishes, 23 GNAC team titles and 305 academic all-conference honorees, all since 2014.
Despite his upcoming retirement from the department, McDiffett says that it isn’t the end of his involvement.
“I care deeply for this institution and will continue to support it in whatever way I can,” McDiffett said.
Myford comes from Pennsylvania and ample experience to UAA. Most recently, Myford worked at IMG College, the largest collegiate sports marketing company in the nation. Myford has provided expertise in multimedia rights agreements and corporate sponsorships for the past five years.
Gingerich said due to the movement of collegiate athletics becoming more market-focused, Myford brings the expertise and competitive drive that will propel the Seawolf Athletic Department even further.
Prior to his work at IMG College, Myford dedicated his time to enhancing attendance, facility improvements and revenue generation at Penn State. He played a role on the External Relations team for over 10 years.
“I’m also very excited to work with the department’s professional staff and coaches as we guide and support UAA Student-Athletes in their pursuit of excellence – academically, athletically and personally,” Myford said.
Being raised by two educators, Myford understands the importance of his interactions with the student-athletes.
“I am extremely grateful and humbled by the opportunity to serve the University of Alaska Anchorage and their Department of Athletics. It’s a special time to join the UAA community,” Myford said.
Myford will take over responsibility as head athletic director a month after McDiffett’s departure in late June.