ANCHORAGE – University of Alaska Anchorage chancellor Sam Gingerich announced Tuesday that UAA interim athletic director Tim McDiffett will retire effective June 30.
The longest-serving employee in Seawolf Athletics history, McDiffett’s primary role since 1991 has been associate and senior associate athletic director. Since joining UAA as the sports information director in 1981 and moving into an assistant AD position in 1985, McDiffett has overseen virtually every aspect of the program, including sponsorships, marketing, event management, ticketing and budget.
The native of Alta Vista, Kan., is currently serving his third stint as the Seawolves’ interim AD (1992, 2013, 2017-18), while continuing in his role as senior associate AD. In addition to his leadership during this transitional time, McDiffett has helped guide an athletic department that has produced 23 Great Northwest Athletic Conference team titles, 33 NCAA team berths and 10 national top-10 finishes, 71 All-Americans, and 305 academic all-conference honorees since the Seawolves moved into the Alaska Airlines Center in 2014. In that time, UAA student-athletes and staff have volunteered approximately 2,500 hours per year in community service activities, and student-athletes have produced a plus-3.2 combined grade-point average each season.
“Tim McDiffett's service and loyalty to Seawolf Athletics are rivaled only by his versatility,” said UAA interim chancellor Sam Gingerich. “Tim is the consummate team player. Over the past four decades, his unwavering leadership has been critical to the stability and growth of the athletic department. On three separate occasions, he has stepped into the role of interim athletic director, graciously bridging the gap for UAA's student-athletes until a new director could be found. His commitment, first and foremost, has always been to our student-athletes.”
“It's been an honor and privilege to serve here at Seawolf Athletics these many years,” McDiffett said. “I will miss the interaction with our outstanding student-athletes, who have consistently represented UAA with great distinction. I have taken great pride in watching them grow, develop and achieve their academic and athletic goals. I’ve also grown very close to many Seawolf colleagues and supporters. I will miss them greatly. I care deeply for this institution and will continue to support it in whatever way I can.”
After earning his bachelor’s in radio & television from Kansas State University in 1977, McDiffett moved to Alaska and served as a writer and sports editor at The Anchorage Times from 1977-81. He and his wife Mary are the parents of 10 daughters and now grandparents of 11 grandchildren.