Stava Steps Down As Seattle Pacific Athletic Director
Jackson Stava, shown here with his family, took over as Seattle Pacific athletic director in July 2016.
Jackson Stava, shown here with his family, took over as Seattle Pacific athletic director in July 2016.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022
by Seattle Pacific Athletic Communications

SEATTLE – Like collegiate athletic directors everywhere, Jackson Stava knows very well those bittersweet moments at the end of a student-athlete's career.
On the one hand, they've become like a member of the family during their time here, and there's often much to celebrate.
On the other hand, there's the emotion of saying farewell as they move on to the next phase of their lives.

Stava is now experiencing some of those same moments for himself, as he has announced his resignation as Seattle Pacific's athletic director to accept a job as Senior Associate Athletic Director at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo University.

The city is on the central coast of California, almost dead center between San Francisco (231 miles north) and Los Angeles (203 miles south).
More importantly for Stava, it's just 10 to 15 miles from where his parents and other family members live, and is closer to his wife Melissa's parents in San Diego.
"For us, it was the opportunity to have our kids grow up around their grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins," Stava said. "That draw to family was really a critical piece of this decision.
"When I was young, the first college sporting events I went to were at Cal Poly," Stava added. "Growing up in junior high and high school, all the events you go to were there."
Stava came to Seattle Pacific in July 2016 as the school's 11th athletic director since the sponsorship of intercollegiate sports began in 1946. Prior to his arrival here, he served four years in various positions at Azusa Pacific in California. APU is a member of the Pacific West Conference and is a regular preseason (and sometimes postseason) opponent for the Falcons,
"I remember on my interview here saying that I was looking for a school that was a wonderful academic place and had a history of excellence academically and athletically," Stava said. "I love the West Coast and wanted to be on the West Coast. At that point, I felt I needed to stay in the world of Christian higher education. Seattle Pacific checked all of those boxes.
"It has been a wonderful six-and-a-half years working in that context," he said. "I've loved every second of it."

Added Jeff Jordan, Seattle Pacific's Vice Provost for Student Formation and Community Engagement, "Jackson has served our campus and the Seattle community well, leading with energy and innovation He has worked with coaches and staff to serve our student-athletes well in ways that has prepared them for athletic competition, in the classroom, and after graduation as leaders and service to others. It has been my privilege to work alongside him and I know he will continue to do well in this new undertaking."

While the nature of Stava's job as AD and as a member of SPU's Senior Leadership Team naturally involved many meetings through the course of any given day, his favorite meetings were always with Falcon student-athletes – those who were already here and those who were thinking about coming here.
"For me, I love nothing more than seeing a student-athlete come to SPU at 18 or 19 years old and watch the transformation that happens in their life through the vehicle of college sports," Stava said. "Our coaches are a massive part of that, faculty are a part of that, staff in athletics are a part of that. Any time I could be around student-athletes, whether it was meeting in my office or having them in my home for dinner – that's why you do this job."
One of his points of emphasis was always to remind them that while he was most certainly interested in and invested in what they accomplished at Seattle Pacific, he was even more interested and invested in what kind of people they would become and what they would do with their lives when their days as Falcons were finished.
"What I tell all recruits when they sit in my office is that ultimately, the measure of success, in my opinion, of whether we have done our jobs at SPU is who this student is the last day they play for us," Stava said. "As a young woman or a young man, how are they prepared to be a wife or husband, to be a mother or father, to be in business or whatever it is they're going to do. Have they reached the fullness of their potential of who God created them to be?"
In Stava's mind, that has always gone beyond the final score.
"We've won a lot of games in the time I've been here. We've lost some heartbreakers. Refs have made some good calls and bad calls. Injuries have happened," he said. 'But at the end of the day, what I'm really proud of is I believe the student-athletes who have come through this program have had the opportunity to develop into the fullness of who God created them to be through what we have put together in terms of staff and culture in the Athletic Department."
Stava, who was instrumental in Seattle Pacific becoming the host for this year's NCAA Division II Fall Sports Festival, will remain at the school through mid-December to see that pursuit through to its conclusion.
"Our staff and the Seattle community have worked so hard getting ready for this," Stava said. "It's a fun swan song at the end of this fall season and kind of my last full week of work, we get to welcome all of NCAA Division II to Seattle and to our campus. I know it's going to be a great event.
"It's a unique way, but also a fun and fulfilling and satisfying way to end my time at SPU."

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