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It’s Official: Penn State Hires Boston College’s Patrick Kraft to Succeed Sandy Barbour as Athletic Director

Penn State has hired Patrick Kraft, previously of Boston College, as it’s next Athletic Director, replacing the retiring Sandy Barbour.

Kraft is a football guy. Before Boston, he was the athletic director at Temple University for five year. In that time, he oversaw a program led by now-Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Ruhle that won an American Athletic Conference Championship in 2016. During Kraft’s time in Philly, Temple football made  Temple football made five straight bowl games for the first time ever. Additionally, the Owls beat Penn State in 2015, which hadn’t been done since 1941.

Other Temple sports succeeded as well in Kraft’s tenure. Temple’s men’s basketball team won the AAC regular season championship in 2015-16, and the women’s basketball team broke a five-year NCAA tournament drought.

In Kraft’s relatively brief time in Boston– he started in the Summer of 2020– he brought on hired Earl Grant as the school’s basketball coach, locked up $15 million to go toward building a basketball facility and signed long-term deals with Adidas and New Balance for apparel.

Kraft is familiar with the Big Ten, having played football at Indiana and been linked to the Maryland athletic director job in 2018.

He got his PHD in Sports Management from Indiana in 2008, and became Temple’s Deputy Director of Athletics in 2013.

Penn State coach James Franklin said finding Barbour’s replacement would be “critical” and wanted the new AD to be “bold and aggressive”

“That is something that I think is really important [and] I think a really good understanding nationally – and again, I can only speak for football – but a really good understanding about what we’re truly competing against week in and week out,” Franklin told reporters after a Wednesday practice.

Barbour, who had been at Penn State since 2014,  announced her plans to retire in March.

“In the coming months, I am so excited to meet the community and to begin to work alongside Penn State’s talented student-athletes and dedicated coaches and staff to uphold and advance excellence for Penn State,” Kraft said in a statement. “The University is world-class, rich with tradition, and has passionate fan support, and we will never stray from what has made the program great.”

Kraft will be formally introduced in a press conference this morning at 11 a.m.

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