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Chris McIntosh promoted as Badgers athletic director

Published: Jun. 2, 2021 at 10:02 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:49 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Chris McIntosh has officially been announced as the next athletic director for the University of Wisconsin.

After first being reported yesterday that McIntosh would be promoted to Director of Athletics, UW-Madison made it official today.

“Chris is a natural leader who loves the Badgers and cares about our student-athletes,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank said. “He is uniquely positioned to continue our proud traditions of success on and off the field and doing things ‘the right way.’ Chris will build upon those traditions and has a strong vision for leading the program during a time of change in college athletics.”

McIntosh will be officially introduced as the new Athletic Director during a Wednesday afternoon news conference. NBC15 will have full coverage of the event.

A former All-American offensive tackle for Wisconsin in 1999, McIntosh has been with UW athletics since 2014. The university pointed out that, as a player, McIntosh was an important part of two of the Badgers’ most storied teams, serving as captain of the 1999 and 2000 squads.

Saying he was “thrilled” to hear McIntosh would be his successor, Alvarez noted how he has known McIntosh since the latter was a teenager, adding that he is extremely proud of McIntosh’s accomplishments.

“He epitomizes the transformational power of the student-athlete experience at Wisconsin. He loves the Badgers and will put everything he has into building upon the foundation that has been established in our department,” Alvarez said. “I congratulate Mac and his family and wish them every success as they embark upon this new journey.”

The 44-year-old first served as director of business development before being promoted to associate athletic director in 2016, a role he served in for one year before being promoted to deputy athletic director which he has held since 2017.

As deputy AD, McIntosh was in charge of the day-to-day operations of the athletic department, student-athlete recruitment, business development, human resources and strategic planning.

During his time in administration for the Badgers, McIntosh has been groomed as Barry Alvarez’s successor and was thought to be the athletic director’s top pick to take over a department that Alvarez helped build up since he arrived to Wisconsin in 1990.

MORE: Barry Alvarez will officially retire as the University of Wisconsin athletic director on June 30.

McIntosh founded, managed and sold numerous health and wellness start-ups before rejoining the Badgers as an AD.

“I owe so much to the University of Wisconsin, and I’m deeply honored to be able to succeed Barry Alvarez,” the first-generation college graduate from Pewaukee, Wis. said. “We will build upon our legacy of success on the field of competition and support our student-athletes in the classroom, on campus and after college.”

During his time as a student-athlete McIntosh was a back-to-back captain during Wisconsin’s two consecutive Rose Bowl appearances in 1998 and 1999 while starting 50 straight games in his career. He was a first round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in 2000 and went on to play for Seattle for three seasons.

Wisconsin's coach Barry Alvarez, left, and players Ron Dayne (33), Chris McIntosh (75), Donnell...
Wisconsin's coach Barry Alvarez, left, and players Ron Dayne (33), Chris McIntosh (75), Donnell Thompson (44) and Chris Ghidorzi (16) hold up the Big-Ten Championship trophy following the game against Iowa Saturday, Nov. 13, 1999, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 41-3 to capture the Big-Ten title.(MICKEY KIENITZ | AP Photo/Mickey Kienitz)

“When I was a football player, Coach Alvarez taught our team fundamental principles that benefited my life,” he added. “These were techniques to succeed in a program in football, but years later, it became apparent that he taught us something much more important than how to win on Saturdays.”

Big Ten officials were quick to congratulate McIntosh on his promotion as well. The university quoted Commissioner Kevin Warren describing his selection as “an excellent choice.”

“Growing up in Pewaukee, being a successful Badger student-athlete, playing in the National Football League, and learning the vital elements of intercollegiate athletics under Barry Alvarez provides Chris with the necessary foundation to succeed,” he continued.

The man who led the university’s search committee, Athletic Board Chair Peter Miller, explained 35 people applied for the position and the committee was quickly able to move quickly on making its choice.

“I’d like to thank the committee for its work and I’m glad that we were able to identify the best candidate right here at home,” Miller said.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison announces Chris McIntosh will be its next Director of...
The University of Wisconsin-Madison announces Chris McIntosh will be its next Director of Athletics, on June 2, 2021.(WMTV-TV/Lou Thao)

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