Central Washington University has a new athletic director.  He is  Dennis Francois, who is currently the associate athletic director for external affairs in the Department of Athletics at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He will assume his new position at CWU on June 17. Central athletic teams compete within the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II ranks.  

Francois was selected from an initial list of 86 candidates. He’s served at Drake since 2008, following three years as director of athletics and recreational sports at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon.  Francois said his Oregon experienced familiarized him with the GNAC.

From 2002-03, Francois was also the interim director of athletics at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and he has served as an assistant collegiate wrestling coach and professor of exercise and sports science.

Francois earned his bachelor of science in communication from Missouri State University, in Springfield, Missouri, in 1990; his master of arts in physical education from Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa, in 1995; and his PhD of Philosophy, Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1998 from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. New Mexico. Francois will succeed Jack Bishop, who has served as CWU’s athletic director since 2000, and is retiring in June.