KU Director of Athletics Travis Goff offers thoughts on Sunflower Showdown, Bill Self contract and more

Kansas Director of Athletics Travis Goff
Kansas Director of Athletics Travis Goff(WIBW)
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:58 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - As the 121st Sunflower Showdown approaches, there’s a lot to look forward to in this game.

”I think it’s great to be in a position to where there’s a little bit more competitiveness around it and what K-State has built there is incredible for football in the long haul and certainly with coach (Chris) Klieman but we’re excited where we’re at with our football program, we think it’s going to be a beautiful day weather wise, going to be a lot of fun energy in the building and we’re looking forward to our guys competing hard and giving us a chance,” Goff said.

As this will be the last game in the original stadium since it was built, Goff reflected on the importance of the stadium and what the future holds.

“It’s pretty fitting right, 101 years of history and what its now called, David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium but originally called Kansas Memorial stadium, 101 years is incredible,” Goff said. “It’s seen a little bit of everything, there have been so many greats that have played on the field, on that site. So many great moments and here we are with this tremendous momentum with Kansas football and we got a rival coming to town so I can think of one way to finish better than leading into that matchup if we an come out on top and be pretty special. In any way you cut it, it’s a celebration of a historical venue and it’s without a doubt, shining a light on a brighter future for KU and for Kansas football with the new David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium here in less than two years.”

Goff said everything that’s happened has been ahead of schedule. He says this is not a one week thing or one month thing, the program has to be able to sustain it.

“It can’t be one year blips on the radar... it needs to be something built for the long haul,” he said.

13 Sports asked about Kansas men’s basketball head coach Bill Self’s new contract (which has him as the highest paid college coach) on why a new deal got done.

“It certainly takes time to get those kind of deals to the finish line number one, number two I think it’s been a long time coming. for us to get the total package of his contract calibrated to the right place, reflective of in our estimation and unequivocally the best college coach in basketball and maybe the best college basketball program in the country,” Goff said. “It took time and I’ve had a lot on my plate in my 2.5 years but in a lot of ways nothing more important than sustaining ability on the tradition of success for KU basketball with Bill Self at the helm.”

Even with this new deal and Self being 60-years-old, Goff said you can sense a new type of energy with him but no only Self but everyone at KU.

“I think he’s so invigorated about where we’re at in college basketball quite honestly and something that he’s thriving in this new space. I think certainly he feels better personally and energized around the next chapter of Kansas basketball and I think we all feel that way. We have major renovations to Allen Fieldhouse, the best venue in the sport and we got the best head coach who can look out and envision a number of years to continue to do this and in some juncture retire at KU and retire as one of the best to ever do it,” he said.

13 News also got the chance to speak with Governor Laura Kelly on the Sunflower Showdown too.

“I’ll be there for the pregame activities, I’ll be there for the game and I will actually award the trophy to the winning team so I’m very excited about it and I think this is a special day in the state of Kansas,” Kelly said.

Kick-off is set for six p.m. on FS1 in Lawrence.