William "Todd" Turner was named director of intercollegiate athletics at the University of Washington on June 19, 2004. The 55-year-old Turner is the 15th athletic director in Washington's history.
A veteran of 29 years as a college athletics administrator, Washington is the fourth university where Turner has served as athletics director. He joined the Husky staff after directing Vanderbilt's athletics program for the previous seven years. His position was dissolved in September of 2003 when the athletics department was restructured and placed under the direction of the newly-created Office of Student Athletics, Recreation and Wellness.
Turner previously held the position of athletic director at North Carolina State University and the University of Connecticut. He also worked in athletic administration at the University of Virginia.
As the athletics director at Washington, Turner oversees one of the nation's most successful programs. It includes 23 sport programs with a $50.5 million annual budget. Approximately 650 student-athletes compete for Washington's athletics teams, while the department includes a staff of 195. In the most recent NCAA graduation report, Washington student-athletes graduated at 84 percent, above the national average for Division I institutions and slightly ahead of the graduation rate for all UW students.
Turner has a reputation for being highly respected by his peers, and a leading advocate in the movement to bring academic reform to NCAA member institutions. After leaving Vanderbilt he continued to serve the NCAA as chair of the NCAA Management Council's Working Group on Incentives and Disincentives tied to academic performance.
In 2004, his efforts on academic reform were felt when the NCAA implemented changes in academic requirements and eligibility restrictions aimed at improving graduation rates among student-athletes. The Incentives/Disincentives Working Group completed work on an academic reform proposal that includes raised initial and continuing academic eligibility requirements. That group developed an ambitious proposal to penalize schools based on poor academic performance.
An accomplished fundraiser, at Vanderbilt Turner was responsible for the most ambitious facilities enhancement in the program's history. Under his direction, nearly every one of the Commodore athletic programs upgraded their practice facilities and the baseball, soccer, track and field and lacrosse teams moved into new competition sites.
Turner has been involved in a number of NCAA, conference and community efforts. He currently is Chair of the Pac-10's Men's Basketball Scheduling Committee and also serves on the Conference's Legislative, Long Range Planning, Revenue Sharing and Bowl Committees. He is on the executive committee and a past president (1996-97) of the Division I-A ADs Association and formerly served as Chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Committee. Turner served a three-year term on the Southeastern Conference's Executive Committee. He was once on the board of directors for the College Football Association.
Turner assisted several Nashville area causes. He was a member of the Nashville Sports Council executive committee, and a board member of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee and Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
During his years at N.C. State (1990-1996), the football team went to five bowls, women's basketball made the Sweet 16 and the men's soccer team played in the Final Four. Eleven Wolfpack teams won ACC titles. He implemented a $45 million fundraising project, the Wolfpack PRIDE Campaign, to upgrade athletic facilities that had become outdated. He was involved in the planning and fundraising efforts for Raleigh's Entertainment and Sports Complex (RBC Center) that is now the home for Wolfpack men's basketball.
While at Connecticut (1987-1990), he supervised construction of the Gampel Pavilion, an on-campus home for Husky men's and women's basketball. His fundraising efforts helped the Huskies surpass the $1 million mark in annual giving for the first time in 1990.
During his 11 years at Virginia, Turner worked as an associate athletic director for Dick Schultz, who went on to be the executive director of the NCAA and executive director of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and was hired at Virginia by Gene Corrigan, who became the commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference and was the president of the NCAA. At Virginia he worked as the associate director of athletics, director of sports promotions, sports information director and athletic ticket manager.
A 1976 graduate of the Ohio University Sports Administration program, Turner received a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1973. He earned the Ohio University Graduate School's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1993.
Turner, a native of Raleigh, N.C., is married to the former Sara Newbold, also of Raleigh. They have four children: Kate, Allison, Molly, and Drew.