Meet Brock Anundson: UAF’s new Athletic Director

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 7:28 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The University of Alaska Fairbanks has new leadership atop the athletic department, as Chancellor Dan White has appointed Brock Anundson to serve as the school’s next athletic director.

“Our goal was to find an athletics director for the future of the Nanooks,” said Chancellor White. “We wanted somebody who understood the Fairbanks community, understood UAF and had a long-term vision for UAF moving forward.”

Anundson currently serves as the assistant director of athletics for internal operations and events at Black Hills State University in South Dakota, where he is responsible for overseeing administrative operations and multiple athletic facilities on the campus. Previously, he served as the program coordinator for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO and in stadium operations for the NFL’s Denver Broncos (2007-11). Now, his next chapter moves him and his family to the Golden Heart City.

“I was sold before I got here,” Anundson said at an introductory press conference with the media. “Other than its traditions, I think first and foremost the people and the family culture really drew me in. Of course, the landscape and resources are unbelieve and you cannot compare them to anything else on Earth. There is just so much opportunity ahead of us.”

While his experience ranges from the U.S. Olympic Committee to the NFL, it may be his involvement in collegiate hockey that would make him a good fit to serve as the University’s Athletic Director.

Anundson played four years of NCAA hockey at the University of Minnesota Crookston from 2001-05, where he is the program’s all-time scoring leader. He signed with the Colorado Eagles of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) following his collegiate career, brining hockey experience to the hockey town of Fairbanks.

“Hockey is life in Fairbanks,” said Anundson. “When I go back to my playing days, I still have incredible relationships and I think that is one thing that we will look to do with specifically our hockey student-athletes. I’m really looking forward to involving them - not just the game day experience - but also campus activities, community engagements...and the community obviously gives back by showing up for games, increasing our crowd sizes, whatever it may be to just kind of be win-win on all sides and grow that excitement within the community that I’ve heard is there and that I know is there.”

Anundson was selected from a pool of four finalists, with the hiring process led by Chancellor White and search firm ‘Athletics Staffing and Consultants’. The University also received community input on the hiring, with many in support of Anundson.

“One thing that was heard loud and clear...was that he was interested in this community,” said Chancellor White. “We have a lot to look forward to in Nanooks athletics on campus, but we have a lot of room to grow and opportunity to engage in the community and I think what people heard was a genuine interest of Brock’s in Fairbanks as a place to live and raise a family and engage at all levels. I think that is important.”

While Anundson is not expected to serve his first day at director of athletics until July 12, he has begun establishing relationships with the staff, while envisioning ways to maximize UAF’s 10 sports.

“The staff is unbelievable, I felt right at home the second I walked on campus,” Anundson added. “I have had a chance to really connect with a vast majority of the coaching staff and administration. There are many things that the coaching staff do well, and it is something I want to collaborate with them more on. I think an opportunity for growth is just establishing them in their conferences and ever year, raising the bar. The coaching staff and resources we have in place are incredible, so leaning on them and leveraging those as opportunities is going to be big.”

In January, Chancellor White came to the conclusion that the University needed a full-time athletic director, as previous Vice Chancellor Keith Champagne served dual roles as both the VC and AD for 18 months prior. Anundson will report directly to Chancellor White. Anundson has earned a Master of Business Administration degree specializing in sports and entertainment management, marketing and international business from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor’s of Science in sport and recreation management with a minor in coaching from the University of Minnesota Crookston.

Seven of UAF’s 10 sports were able to have some form of competition during the 2020-21 academic year, while hockey and men’s and women’s basketball did not see any official action. Chancellor White and Anundson both mentioned they look forward to having all of Nanook athletics back in action for the 2021-22 year.

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