By: Josh Brown
BOSTON – Northeastern University has selected Jeff Konya to be its next director of athletics, the school announced in a press conference on Wednesday morning.
Konya will replace Peter Roby, who announced his intention to retire in 2018 last year after over a decade on the job and 15 years at the university.
“Northeastern is a university with limitless potential,” Konya said. “I am humbled by this opportunity and I look forward to working with the talented and committed coaches, student-athletes, and staff. We will remain committed to a high standard of student athlete-success, which has been a hallmark of this department, and we will unleash the full potential of this athletic department to garner national recognition and to match the unprecedented trajectory of the university.”
Prior to coming to Northeastern, Konya served as director of athletics at Oakland University for the past three-and-a-half years. Under his leadership the university won three-straight McCafferty Trophies, given to the all-sports champion of the Horizon League. He was also named one of Under Armour’s Athletic Directors of the Year in 2016-2017.
Often looking to break new ground, Konya made waves in 2016 when he hired co-head baseball coaches. This was the first time anything like that had been done at the Division 1 level. He also launched the popular Black & Gold Awards, which honored Oakland athletics in an Oscars-Style ceremony at the Fox Theatre every year.
“People make places,” Konya said. “You can accomplish great things when you have a singular mindset and vision and when you get buy-in from folks. I have an internal saying – I strive for perfection, will settle for excellence.”
The move came as a surprise to some in the Oakland community. Last June Konya agreed to a contract extension that would keep him at the school through 2022. This came after reports that he was a finalist for the Eastern Michigan AD job.
Konya, who graduated from Princeton University in 1995 and completed his J.D. at the University of Iowa in 1998, served as director of athletics at Cal State Bakersfield from 2010-2014. Prior to that he was AD at Northeastern State. Konya also has leadership experience at Southern Methodist University, Memphis, Bucknell and University of Texas at San Antonio.
“Jeff Konya is a proven leader who has the passion and the vision to drive our athletic programs to new levels of success,” said Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun. “When I met with Jeff during the search process, I was immediately struck by his energy, his entrepreneurial spirit, and the innovation that has defined his career. These are Northeastern values. And in Jeff, we found someone who shares those values.”
He will begin his tenure at Northeastern on February 1.