FAU AD Pat Chun is introduced by FAU President Mary Jane Saunders on Monday. (Owl Access photo)
New challenge for Chun
New FAU Athletics Director Pat Chun knows there are differences between Ohio State and FAU, and is excited about the challenges he will face.
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BOCA RATON - The resume of new Florida Atlantic Athletics Director Pat Chun could make a foundation shake with excitement.
While Chun was a Senior Associate Athletic Director at Ohio State he increased giving nearly 20 percent, totalling $117.8 million in three years. Chun also helped to negotiate one of the largest media rights deals in college sports history. And Chun also was behind upgrades in facilities that totaled nearly $22 million.
At FAU, Chun won't have to match his success dollar for dollar. FAU would be likely happy with a fraction of the amount of money Chun helped acquire at OSU. But even that won't be easy as Chun transitions from an athletic department with one of the largest budgets in the nation (Ohio State had more than $131 million in revenue in 2010-11 according to a federal report) to one with one of the smallest in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FAU had just over $15 million).
But Chun is prepared and excited about the opportunity to lead his own athletic department - one that he can put his stamp on by having it reach its potential.
“The job is very different and I recognize that, but the opportunity is different,” Chun said. “We have an opportunity to make our mark here and we are going to make a difference here.”
FAU President Mary Jane Saunders is confident Chun will make a difference leading the FAU athletic department much as he did as one of the key members of the athletic department administration at Ohio State.
“It will be tougher in some ways, but fun in some ways,” Saunders said. “I kind of look at it like Ohio State has a great leader in (Ohio State President) Gordon Gee, but I am so happy to be the president at Florida Atlantic. We are a school on the way up and he has nothing but positives to look at with a new football coach and a new stadium. There is no place that is poised to do better than here.”
While Chun made a name for himself as a fund-raiser (one of the qualities that made him attractive to FAU), Chun's job is more than that – it is to lead the FAU athletic department.
“My job here isn't to replicate what I did at Ohio State,” Chun said. “My job here is to be as good as the president wants us to be and as big as the community will allow us to be.”