Baton Rouge native and LSU alumnus Scott Woodward was named director of athletics at his alma mater in April of 2019. Woodward is a consensus-building leader who is committed to excellence in all facets of an athletics department.
His vision for success centers on graduating student-athletes, providing an unmatched student-athlete experience, and winning championships with integrity. LSU has already captured four national championships in Woodward’s four seasons as athletics director.
Woodward has solidified LSU’s reputation as a national title contender in every sport, with his most visible impact coming in the hiring of championship-quality coaches like women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey, baseball coach Jay Johnson and football coach Brian Kelly.
Mulkey in April captured LSU’s first basketball national championship in her second year leading the program. LSU baseball under Johnson’s second-year direction finished the 2023 season with a College World Series championship for the seventh time in program history.
Kelly in his first season at LSU led the football squad to 10 wins, the 2022 SEC Western Division title and a Citrus Bowl victory over Purdue. LSU Athletics enjoyed one of the most successful years in recent history during the 2022-23 academic year with 20 of the 21 varsity sports reaching postseason competition.
LSU finished ninth in the 2022-23 Director’s Cup competition, the national standings that measure overall athletics excellence. The Tigers placed in the Director’s Cup Top 10 for the first time since 2008-09.
The success of LSU Athletics teams in the classroom continues to reach elite levels under Woodward, as 10 sports scored 990 or better – including six sports with a perfect 1,000 – in the May 2023 release of the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate.
Embodying Woodward’s sincere commitment to scholarship, LSU’s Graduation Success Rate in 2022 reached a school-record score of 92. LSU’s 92 in GSR was a three-point improvement from the prior year and bettered the previous school mark of 90 set in 2017. LSU has scored at least an 89 in the GSR for six straight years.
LSU in 2021-22 featured 10 squads that finished among the Top 25, including Top 10 performances by men’s and women’s track & field, beach volleyball, gymnastics and women’s basketball. The women’s golf team captured LSU’s first SEC title since 1992.
LSU’s 2020-21 athletics season was highlighted by a national championship in men’s outdoor track & field, and eight Tiger programs finished ranked among the Top 20 in the country.
Though the winter and spring portions of LSU’s 2020 athletic schedules were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tigers recorded several elite performances. The men’s track & field team, the women’s track & field team, and the beach volleyball squad each finished their seasons ranked No. 1 in the nation.
LSU’s tremendous athletics success under Woodward’s leadership grabbed the country’s attention during the 2019 football season, as the Tigers captured the 2019 CFP National Championship with “The Best Ever” campaign in college gridiron history. LSU posted a 15-0 record – which included seven wins over Top 10 teams – and quarterback Joe Burrow became the first Tiger to win the Heisman Trophy since 1959.
During Woodward’s tenure at Texas A&M, every sports program participated in postseason play and the Aggies won nine SEC titles. He also spearheaded the construction of a world-class track & field stadium, as well as a state-of-the-art softball stadium, in addition to renovations of the basketball locker rooms and planned redesign of the swimming and diving facility, nutrition areas and a weight room.
Texas A&M competed at an elite level under Woodward, ranking 10th nationally among more than 300 schools in the 2017-18 Learfield Directors Cup All-Sport Standings, third-best among SEC schools. He worked to increase the number of career placement opportunities for student-athletes through engagement initiatives.
Woodward served as the Vice President of External Affairs at the University of Washington prior to being named Director of Athletics in 2008. During Woodward’s time leading the Husky athletic programs, UW captured seven national championships and multiple conference titles.
At Washington, Woodward supervised a department from 2008 through 2015 that produced revenue exceeding $100 million per year.
He garnered wide acclaim in 2013 for hiring head football coach Chris Peterson, who led UW to a College Football Playoff berth in 2016. The men’s basketball program won the 2012 Pac-12 regular season championship, 2011 and 2010 Pac-10 Conference Tournament Championships and reached the NCAA’s Sweet Sixteen in 2010.
Washington ranked fourth in the Pac-12 Conference in student-athlete graduation rates and ranked second over a 10-year average. Woodward was nominated by the Sports Business Journal for the prestigious Athletic Director of the Year Award in March of 2014.
As LSU’s Director of External Affairs from 2000-2004, Woodward acted as the liaison between the university and government and corporate officials, and he advised then-Chancellor Mark Emmert on policy and government appropriations. Woodward helped lead LSU to unprecedented economic growth, paving the way for the University’s move from a Tier II to Tier I research institution.
At LSU, Woodward also served as the Chancellor’s representative to the athletics department. During his time with the Tigers, the institution’s intercollegiate athletic teams won 10 NCAA championships, including one in football in 2003.
Prior to working in higher education, Woodward co-owned a government and public relations firm in Baton Rouge and provided strategic policy direction to Fortune 500 corporations, including clients in the education, insurance and oil industries. He also worked on behalf of the Louisiana Nature Conservancy and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and served on the Board of Directors of the Baton Rouge Food Bank.
Woodward earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from LSU in 1985. He is married to Nanette Dicharry and has two adult sons, Michael and Josh.