University president Mark Emmert made the announcement at an 11 a.m. press conference on campus.
In that press conference, Woodward said that the football program "is obviously struggling mightily." And he said the solution for declining attendance and increasing dissatisfaction with the program is to win more football games.
He said a "very good" relationship with coach Tyrone Willingham, and called Willingham a "fabulous" coach.
However, Woodward said he will re-assess the coaching situation at the end of the year. And he said it is most likely that he will either extend Willingham's contract or terminate it -- rather than sending Willingham into the fifth year of a five-year contract.
Woodward also said that he thinks the ideal UW football schedule would follow the A-B-C tiers of out-of-conference opponents: one big-name BCS school, a lower-level BCS school, and a non-BCS school.
The A.D. job had been open since January, when Todd Turner left the job under pressure.
Top chores awaiting Woodward include the renovation of Husky Stadium and deciding on the future of football coach Tyrone Willingham, who is 0-3 in this, the fourth season of his five-year contract.
Woodward has been UW's vice president of external affairs since February 2006, and seems to have the full confidence of Emmert. In fact, the No. 1 issue working against him for the AD job was Emmert's eagerness to keep him in the external affairs job.
Woodward has admitted his own interest in the AD's job for months, but has always stated that he will serve however Emmert wants.
Emmert said he conducted an extensive AD search, interviewed about a dozen people and passed along about a half-dozen of those names to his AD search committee. However, in the end he decided Woodward was the right man after all.
The both men came to UW from LSU, where they experienced the Tigers' national championship under Nick Saban, who Emmert is credited with hiring.
Woodward also has a history of fund-raising and working with the state governments -- two credentials that should come in handy with the Husky Stadium renovation.
He retains his taste for Louisiana food, and for successful football programs that can drive success in other sports. He hinted that plans for a new UW baseball park will be announced soon.
As acting AD he has stated his preference for a more open program than Willingham traditionally runs, however he also said he places more value on allowing the coach to run the program in his own way ... and to live or die the consequences. He repeated that today.