Chris McIntosh began his tenure as Director of Athletics at Wisconsin on July 1, 2021. McIntosh, a former college student-athlete, professional football player and businessman, brings a unique blend of experiences to his role and is well-positioned to lead Wisconsin Athletics through its next chapter of success. Student-athlete opportunity is at the forefront of McIntosh’s leadership approach and he knows first-hand that lives can be elevated through the opportunities provided through college athletics.
McIntosh previously served as Wisconsin’s deputy athletic director since 2017 under former Wisconsin director of athletics Barry Alvarez. In his role as deputy athletic director, McIntosh was charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the department while also serving as the sport administrator for football. He has also served as a key member of search committees that led to the hiring of multiple coaches, including Greg Gard, Paul Chryst, Tony Granato, Yuri Suguiyama, and Marisa Moseley.
McIntosh has served as Government Affairs liaison, collaborating with legislators on wide-ranging issues, including name, image, and likeness, capital projects, UW borrowing and treasury flexibilities, and future legislation. Last season, he spearheaded the effort to identify financial threats posed by the disruption of the 2020 football season due to COVID-19 pandemic, develop a contingency plan to preserve the broad-based offering of 23 sport programs and save more than $30 million in fiscal year 2021.
McIntosh helped establish and expand the Inclusion & Engagement unit as one of the first departments across the nation to intentionally focus on diversity, inclusion, and engagement within college athletics. He initiated the development of Wisconsin Athletics’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan, which was released on Sept. 4, 2020, and aims to create an environment that embraces diversity and encourages people from all backgrounds to come together in order to develop, grow and win together. Among the action steps UW Athletics has taken to further this goal include the creation of an Equity & Diversity Council to serve as an advisory board to assist with the collaboration of D&I efforts within department and support of the Raimey Noland Campaign, which establishes a diverse fund dedicated to recruitment and retention of diverse talent and enhancing their experiences.
In addition, McIntosh helped establish the Department of Clinical & Sport Psychology, which is committed to promoting student-athlete growth through performance enhancement, psycho-educational outreach, counseling, and consultation.
McIntosh, a consensus All-America offensive tackle who captained Wisconsin’s back-to-back Big Ten and Rose Bowl champions in 1998 and 1999, returned to UW in 2014 after a successful business career. He was hired in December of 2014 as Wi sconsin’s associate athletic director for business development and was responsible for identifying, developing and enhancing new and existing sources of revenue for UW Athletics. He cultivated corporate sponsorships, negotiated and secured new apparel, licensing and merchandising partnerships and helped to enhance Wisconsin’s current sponsorship program.