A rising star in the collegiate administrative ranks with successful stints at a number of distinguished institutions, Anton Goff was named the sixth Director of Athletics in the history of St. John's University on November 13, 2016.
"We are very pleased to welcome Anton Goff to St. John's University," said Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw, Ph.D., President, St. John's University. "The University community looks forward to collaborating with Anton in his role leading the Department of Athletics, as we collectively work to ensure the success of our student-athletes academically and competitively."
Goff came to St. John's after two and a half years as the director of athletics at the University of Hartford, where he helped the Hawks make significant improvements in the areas of fundraising and student-athlete academic success. In December 2015, Goff announced the formation of the Hawk Nation Club, a new organization that now spearheads all fundraising efforts for the athletic program.
"I am honored to join the St. John's family and extremely humbled that President Gempesaw has entrusted me to lead the Department of Athletics," said Goff. "It is with great excitement that I look forward to providing the resources and support services for our student-athletes to excel at the highest levels as we strive to achieve excellence. I am confident St. John's will once again ascend to the top of the BIG EAST Conference and become a competitive force nationally."
During Goff's tenure at Hartford, he also made several notable enhancements to strengthen the Hawks brand and coined the catchphrase "Hawks Nation Domination" supporting his vision for the athletic department. Goff unveiled new athletic logos and identity in July 2015, which marked the athletic department's first brand refresh in 25 years. The Hawks' new brand identity embodied Hartford's athletic history and tradition with modernized look that incorporates the vision for future successes.
"We are extremely excited to have Anton lead the St. John's Athletic Department," said Vice President for Administration, Secretary and General Counsel Joseph Oliva, Esq. "Anton's energy and enthusiasm for his work are contagious and we are confident that his vision for the program's future will lift the Red Storm to unprecedented levels of success on the fields of competition, in the classroom and in the community."
Complementing the Hawks' revamped brand, Goff formed an exclusive partnership with Under Armour to design and supply the footwear, apparel and equipment for training and game-day uniforms for each of the university's 17 men's and women's athletic teams. The multi-year deal was the first all-sport agreement with a sports performance outfitter in the history of Hartford Athletics.
Another notable change Goff made during his time at Hartford was the creation of the Hawks' women's lacrosse program. Set to begin competition in 2017-18, the addition of a women's lacrosse team ensured the department's full compliance with Title IX.
Prior to his arrival at Hartford, Goff spent three and a half years as the athletic director at Bowie State University, a Division II school just outside of Washington, D.C. Under his supervision, the Bulldogs captured a pair of conference championships in men's basketball and women's bowling, both of which came in 2013, and he increased the academic success rate of the department across the board.
At Bowie State, Goff oversaw a number of facilities renovations, including a remodeling of the school's fitness center and weight room. Goff also led a campaign to build a fieldhouse and install lights at Bulldogs Stadium, the program's football home.
In addition to the facility improvements that he captained at Bowie State, Goff also proved instrumental in the department's fundraising efforts, establishing the 1,001 Bulldogs Booster Club, the first organization of its kind in the school's history. Under his guidance, the department more than tripled its donations. He also served as the president of the CIAA Athletic Directors Association and on the CIAA Football Competition Committee, the CIAA Basketball Tournament Committee and the CIAA Management Council.
Before beginning at Bowie State, Goff undertook two non-consecutive stints at the University of Maryland, the latter of which saw him serve as an associate athletic director from 2004-10. In that time, Goff served as the supervisor for six Terrapin athletic programs, overseeing multi-million dollar budgets while directing academic support and student services for more than 700 student-athletes.
During his first tenure in College Park, Goff served as an assistant director for academic support and career development 1998 to 2001, creating an academic program for the men's basketball team under Hall of Fame Head Coach Gary Williams.
In between his stretches at Maryland, Goff served as the Associate Director of Student-Athlete Support Services at Michigan State, overseeing academic support for the Spartans football team. In his time in East Lansing, Goff significantly reduced the number of student-athletes ruled academically ineligible or on probation within a one-year period.
Goff began his career in collegiate athletics in 1995 at Kent State University, working as an academic counselor and life skills coordinator with the program's men's basketball, football and track & field teams.
Goff, a wide receiver on the Bowling Green football team from 1986-89, received his Bachelor of Science degree in administration of justice from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1991 before receiving a master's degree in the same field from VCU in 1994.
Goff is not the first member of his family to enjoy a successful career in athletic administration, as his mother, Alfreeda served 17 years in the Horizon League as the conference's senior associate commissioner and chief championships administrator. Her resume also includes stints as the athletic director at VCU and Virginia State, while also having served as the head track & field coach at the University of Pittsburgh, where she then began her career as an administrator.
Goff and his wife Wendy, a former volleyball standout at Gonzaga, have two daughters: Alexa and Gianna.