Shawn Chin-Farrell named new CSUN director of athletics

A man posing to a picture and smiling

CSUN Athletic Department

CSUN’s new Director of Athletics Shawn Chin-Farrell will start work on Oct. 10 after spending five years leading the athletics program at California State University, San Bernardino.

Edward Segal, Sports Editor

“After a nation-wide search, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Shawn Chin-Farrell as CSUN’s new Director of Athletics effective October 10th,” read the announcement from CSUN President Erika D. Beck three weeks into the new school year.

Months after Mike Izzi, the former athletic director, announced his departure, the search committee settled on Shawn Chin-Farrell, who worked for five years as the athletic director at California State University, San Bernardino, as the best candidate for the job.

“The campus was looking for an experienced, dynamic and energetic individual who could lead a competitive and respected Division I intercollegiate athletics program that supports a balanced, high-quality educational and athletic experience for student athletes,” said Nichole Ipach, the chair of the search committee. “As a university leader, we were looking for someone who demonstrated a commitment to our campus values of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion as well as holistic student success.”

Led by Ipach, vice president for university relations and advancement, the committee in charge of selecting the new director of athletics included three professors, two coaches, faculty athletics representative Cedric Hackett, Associated Students President Shayan Moshtael and CSUN Interim Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies Deborah Cours.

According to Ipach, the search spanned 17 national publications and reached thousands of individuals in the U.S. Of the 51 people who applied, 32 met the minimum qualifications.

Emphasizing community engagement in campus athletics as well as CSUN’s Road Map to the Future, a plan created to address students’ biggest concerns at the university, Ipach and the committee decided Chin-Farrell is right for the task.

“From the committee’s perspective, the majority felt that it was clear that Shawn had the right demonstrated experience and approach to realize the campus’ vision for athletics,” said Ipach. “He was very aligned with the criteria we were asked to consider.”

Joining the staff of CSUN after spending five years in charge of athletics at CSUSB, Chin-Farrell made it his mission to provide the best experience for the college athlete. At San Bernardino, he fostered an increase in revenue, numerous facility renovations and the construction of a video and meeting room for athletes of all sports.

Chin-Farrell also oversaw the Coyotes women’s volleyball team that went 33-0 and won the national championship in 2019, and led the athletes at CSUSB to a school-record collective 3.35 grade point average.

Additionally, the email sent out by Beck emphasized that “eight CSUSB student-athletes earned NCAA Academic All-American honors” under his leadership.

Before he went into sports administration, Chin-Farrell played on the soccer team at Sonoma State University. As a former college athlete himself, Chin-Farrell understands the challenges that can befall college students playing sports.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to lead the Matador athletic program; together we will build a sustainable, winning program that serves as a model for the comprehensive student-athlete experience,” Chin-Farrell told GoMatadors. “The foundation of our success will be authentic alignment with the CSUN community’s core values of student success, equity and inclusion.”

CSUN’s new director of athletics also studied at the University of Arkansas, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1995. He continued his education at the University of Washington, achieving a degree in law three years later.

The previous director of athletics, Izzi, announced his departure on June 17 after working at CSUN for four years and overcoming challenges posed by COVID-19.