Baton Rouge native and LSU alumnus Scott Woodward was named athletics director at his alma mater on April 18, 2019, after serving in the same position for the previous four years at Texas A&M University.
Woodward is a consensus-building leader who is committed to excellence in all facets of athletic department. His vision for success centers on graduating student-athletes, providing an unmatched student-athlete experience, and winning championships with integrity.
As part of his obligation to student-athletes, he forms vital relationships across the university community and with the Tiger Athletic Foundation, which raises funds for scholarships, programs and facilities on behalf of the Athletics Department.
Woodward’s expertise in promoting the best interests of student-athletes is especially critical at this time in our country’s history, as he guides LSU Athletics during a period of significant social change and an unprecedented public health crisis.
Woodward places a priority on making sure students-athletes earn a degree and develop real life skills that will help them throughout their professional careers. He has instituted the LSU Tiger Life program, which serves student-athletes through designing and implementing programming in the areas of career preparation, civic engagement, diversity and inclusion and character development.
Woodward has solidified LSU’s reputation as a national-championship contender in every sport, with his most visible impact coming in the hiring of championship-quality coaches, including Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey, who took the helm of the Tigers’ program in April 2021.
Embodying Woodward’s sincere commitment to scholarship, LSU’s Graduation Success Rate reached an overall score of 89 for the third straight year, just one point shy of the school’s all-time high of 90 in 2017. LSU is one of only five SEC schools to score an 89 or higher in each of the past four years.
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. LSU placed 15th in the annual Director’s Cup national standings that measure overall athletics excellence.
LSU student-athletes excelled in the classroom in 2019-20, as 96 Tigers received their degrees. The academic achievements were mirrored by tremendous athletic success under Woodward’s leadership, as the Tiger football team captured the 2019 CFP National Championship with “The Best Ever” season 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.
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.
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.
As Director of Athletics at Washington from 2008 through 2015, Woodward supervised a department with revenue exceeding $100 million per year and a staff of more than 200. The Husky football program returned to the postseason in 2010 for the first time since 2001 and made five-straight bowl appearances.
Woodward garnered wide acclaim in 2013 for hiring head football coach Chris Peterson, who led the UW football team to a College Football Playoff 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. Fundraising set all-time records under Woodward, and he secured multiple high-figure corporate sponsorships. He also led a $280 million renovation of Husky Stadium, completed in 2013, and facility enhancements for baseball.
In recognition of his accomplishments at Washington, 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. As with his tenure in External Affairs at Washington, 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 Evans.