Kansas Athletic Director Travis Goff earns well-deserved contract extension

Kansas director of athletics Travis Goff speaks on the vision of the Kansas Gateway District during Tuesday's unveil event.
Kansas director of athletics Travis Goff speaks on the vision of the Kansas Gateway District during Tuesday's unveil event. / Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA

On Wednesday afternoon, the University of Kansas announced that Athletic Director Travis Goff has signed a seven-year contract extension through 2031.

Goff, a Kansas native and KU alumnus, will now earn a base salary of $1.3 million – up from $700,000 in his original contract. Goff has also earned the new title of Director of Athletics/Vice Chancellor for Athletics.

"Travis has proven to be among the most respected athletic directors in the country and terrific fit for KU at this moment in our history,” said Kansas Chancellor Doug Girod. “He has established a culture of excellence and integrity within Kansas Athletics — and done so while navigating unprecedented changes to the collegiate athletics landscape and positioning KU for long-term success. We are thrilled he’s a Jayhawk, and we look forward to his leadership for years to come."

Since rejoining his alma mater as director of athletics back in 2021, many of KU’s sports programs have seen resounding success – in large part, thanks to the head coaching hires made by Goff.

Kansas football was a doormat of Big 12 and Power Five football for more than a decade until Goff hired Lance Leipold in the spring of 2021. Since then, KU has appeared in back-t0-back bowl games (winning the 2023 Guaranteed Rate Bowl) and is on an upward trajectory the program hasn’t seen since the Orange Bowl days in 2008.

Additionally, Goff has demonstrated his incredible fundraising ability that made him so successful at his previous stops at Tulane and Northwestern by finally bringing the Kansas football stadium renovation to fruition.

Goff has helped raise more than $300 million for the university’s Gateway District, which includes a transformed David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. He also helped secure the $50 million renovations currently ongoing inside Allen Fieldhouse.  

Speaking of Allen Fieldhouse, Goff also signed KU basketball coach Bill Self to a new lifetime contract this past fall – a move that made many Jayhawk fans very happy.

Kansas women’s golf has steadily improved under the guidance of third-year head coach Lindsay Kuhle – Goff’s second head coaching hire as director of athletics.

The Jayhawks reached the NCAA Regionals for the second consecutive year for the first time in program history. They also finished with the lowest team scoring average in school history (289.3) and finished ranked inside the Top 50 (No. 48) for the first time in a decade.

Kansas baseball also saw tremendous improvement this year under second-year head coach Dan Fitzgerald, whom Goff hired in June 2022.

The Jayhawks finished with a 31-23 record (15-15 in Big 12 play) after making it to the semifinals of last week’s Big 12 Tournament. It was their most overall wins since the 2019 season and the most conference wins in more than a decade.

On top of his successful coaching hires, Goff has also proven the ability to successfully lead KU during perhaps the most challenging time in the history of college athletics.

Through conference realignment, the transfer portal, Name, Image and Likeness, and many other initiatives, Goff has been able to navigate KU Athletics through those waters and ensure the Jayhawks can compete at the highest level with the highest level of resources and support.

Most importantly, KU student-athletes have thrived under Goff’s leadership as they have set or tied a department record for NCAA Graduation Success Rate for three straight years.

Simply put, Goff was – and is – the right man for the job at KU, and he has earned every penny of the new contract extension he just received. Jayhawks fans should all take comfort knowing their athletics department is in good hands for years to come.

“I am thankful to Chancellor Girod for his continued trust in our team, and I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to continue leading Kansas Athletics through a pivotal time,” Goff said. “Rest assured, our best days are ahead.”