Swartwood Named Alaska Anchorage Athletic Director
Ryan Swartwood has been a member of the Alaska Anchorage senior athletic staff since 2018.
Ryan Swartwood has been a member of the Alaska Anchorage senior athletic staff since 2018.

Thursday, June 2, 2022
by Alaska Anchorage Athletic Communications

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The University of Alaska Anchorage announced that Ryan Swartwood has been named athletic director after serving as the interim athletic director for the past seven months. 

"Ryan took the helm and helped lead UAA through a period of transition that was crucial for the future of Seawolf Athletics," said UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell. "He has done an incredible job supporting and advocating for our student-athletes through a global pandemic, leadership changes and unprecedented philanthropic campaigns. I know he will continue to provide steady leadership and mentorship as UAA Athletics continues its success and enters a new chapter of stability."

Swartwood was named interim director after the passing of former athletic director Greg Myford in November 2021. Swartwood previously served as senior associate athletic director for external relations; a role he held since 2018.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic cutting many seasons short during his tenure, UAA Athletics has continued to enjoy success on the national stage since Swartwood joined the staff. Since 2018, UAA has produced 64 All-Americans, 62 individual conference champions, seven individual national titles, five conference team championships, 10 Academic All-Americans and three NCAA Elite 90 award-winners.

As a result of UAA student-athletes' success and his success in past roles, Swartwood is widely respected by athletics administrators across the United States. His passion and drive to provide a quality experience for student-athletes has been cited by many who expressed their support for his appointment. 

"Ryan is attuned with the issues and opportunities at hand," said Bob Beretta, director of athletics at Le Moyne College. "He should elevate the UAA Athletics program to new heights. The university and the UAA student-athletes will benefit greatly from this appointment."

"Ryan Swartwood is a great choice to lead Seawolf Athletics," said Tom Michael, director of athletics at Eastern Illinois University. "He cares deeply about the student-athlete experience. He brings perspectives from several institutions and knows the enterprise of intercollegiate athletics."

Prior to his time at UAA, Swartwood served as associate athletic director for administration at Cal State Northridge. He also has experience working in athletics compliance at the University of Oklahoma and he served as a legal intern for the Oakland Raiders.

"Superb hire by Alaska Anchorage!" said Jon Gilbert, director of athletics at East Carolina University. "I've been fortunate to know Ryan for many years and he is a person of great passion and integrity. He lives by his core values and is an advocate for all those he represents. Ryan is a citizen of the industry and his leadership style will connect, engage and energize Seawolf stakeholders."

Swartwood holds a bachelor's degree in history from San Diego State University, a master's degree in adult and higher education from the University of Oklahoma and a juris doctorate from Arizona State University. He currently lives in Anchorage with his wife, Chio, and their two young sons. He will officially begin as athletic director on June 6.