Sports

UAA athletic director Greg Myford dies

The University of Alaska Anchorage’s athletic director died Tuesday morning at age 58.

Greg Myford had recently been receiving treatment in Florida for esophageal cancer, university spokesman Ian Marks said. Myford was diagnosed nearly two years ago, he said.

“Greg’s optimism and positivity never wavered, even as he battled cancer,” UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell said in a statement Tuesday. “His commitment to Seawolf student-athletes and their success was a hallmark of his leadership at UAA.”

Myford joined the university in 2018 after spending more than 30 years of his career in sports marketing. He worked with a marketing and sponsorship company in Florida before moving to Anchorage.

Myford grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Penn State. He later worked there as an associate athletic director for business relations and communications. Myford worked in professional sports and held executive positions for the Detroit Pistons and Tampa Bay Lightning teams.

During Myford’s years in Anchorage, the university hosted the Armed Forces Classic, and he led fundraising efforts to support Seawolf athletic teams, Parnell said. Myford oversaw athletic operations during the pandemic and helped teams return to competitions safely, the statement said.

Myford will be remembered “for his positive attitude and his unwavering support of student athletes,” Parnell said.

Ryan Swartwood, who has been the senior associate athletic director for external affairs since 2018, will step in as interim director of athletics, Parnell said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story included incorrect information from a university official that said Myford had throat cancer — he had esophageal cancer. Myford also died Tuesday morning, not Monday night.

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