In early June, it was announced that Tim McDiffett, the previous interim athletic director, was set to retire this summer. Greg Myford was selected to be the new athletic director. Myford is coming to Alaska from Pennsylvania.
“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 previously was employed by 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.
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 very excited to work with [UAA’s] 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.
Myford explained that he wouldn’t be in this position without the help of many other people.
“The two people who have had the biggest impact on my life are two career educators that dedicated their entire lives to inspiring and guiding others… I am fortunate enough to call them mom and dad,” Myford said.
His mother was an elementary school teacher and his father was a university professor. His parents instilled in him the importance of respect, hard work, dependability and a strong sense of family.
These values he learned early in life are ones that he can bring into his career and use now that he is working with and around college students.
“I wanted to come to UAA for the opportunities for us to excel, to take the program to the next level, to partner and collaborate with our university leadership or athletic department staff, coaches and student athletes,” Myford said.
In order to be successful at UAA, Myford is bringing with him three expectations that he is holding himself to meet. In addition, he hopes that his colleagues will aspire to the same goals.
His first expectation is to be able to focus on the fundamentals and the basics.
“One of the most important things is the educational mission of the university, followed by the health, safety, and overall well being of our students athletes,” Myford said.
In addition, the staff and faculty in charge should have their own mission. Myford explained that it is important to him to help guide and inspire students, just as his parents helped guide him.
This support, he explained, is important in all aspects such as through academics, athletics, or personal matters.
Another expectation that Myford has coming into his position is the presence of professional management.
“My goal is to strive for simple plans and processes, and we will embrace our best practices here at UAA and all the way across the industry,” Myford said.
Myford explained that he wants himself and other university staff and faculty to be able to search for ways to do things better and more efficiently, while also keeping things simple.
Myford’s third expectation that he is bringing with him to UAA is clear communication.
The goals and expectations are something Myford hopes to be able to work towards long term. He explained that it won’t happen quick, but he is excited to put in the time and effort to see improvements.