Communicate the Impact: Travis Goff is a living example of what dedication can mean to an institution. During his tenure at Northwestern, he has become a constant source of leadership during a time of change. Travis believes there are no small moments when it comes to being an example, “I think it as a leader, you’ve got to set a tone and kind of bolster a culture of excellence in everything you do.” Communicating with impact and purpose are two personal traits that emerged for Travis during a time of tragedy.
Before becoming Deputy Athletic Director and Assistant Vice President at Northwestern, Travis served in a similar capacity at Tulane in New Orleans. He found himself serving the university, and the community, as they rebuilt from disaster.
“Katrina taught perspective,” explains Travis, “When I talk to younger people now, I tell it’s really important that when you’re given an opportunity that you see it through. You do everything you can during the time that you’re there to really make a difference, to really make an impact.”
It’s clear he’s made an impact on his peers and the student-athletes he leads daily. “He is an incredibly strong leader who demonstrates excellence in all realms and is unquestionably a rising star in this profession,” touts Northwestern Athletic Director, Jim Phillips. “Travis Goff has been a leader during a period of tremendous growth for Northwestern University, as a key member of my executive staff.”
For Travis Goff, his entire career has been intertwined with helping the young adults he works with grow as individuals. He often uses his personal stories and struggles as a husband and father to demonstrate the impact that family can have on their lives. He understands that everyone is evolving in their own way and in their own time, “It’s been, 16, 17 years of being in college athletics, there’s been a huge evolution and I look forward to kind of that continued evolution going forward for me personally.”
Part of that evolution is evident in the way he approaches solving problems today. Travis explains that he learned a lot from early stumbles, as a young manager in the University of Kansas Athletics Department. “I think early in my career, being a young manager, with large responsibilities, that I probably wasn’t ready to have in them.” It’s clear those early struggles at his Alma Mater taught him what it means to teach responsibility and realize your leadership has an impact.
“You’ve got to be sincere in the way in which you lead and operate,” he adds, “you can’t try and artificially create a sort of a persona.”
His Athletic Director hails him as a dynamic leader who has been instrumental in the growth of their program. We can easily see why he indispensable to the development of Northwestern and its young athletes. He is the embodiment of a NEXT UP honoree.