Four things to know about Pat Kraft, the man likely to be the next Penn State AD

JON SAUBER
Centre Daily Times (TNS)
Pat Kraft

The Penn State athletic department is set to have a new leader in place in the near future. A source with knowledge of the situation told the Centre Daily Times that Pat Kraft will be named the department's next athletic director.

Kraft will replace outgoing athletic director Sandy Barbour, who led Penn State Athletics since 2014 and announced her retirement earlier this year.

The new AD will be the first under new Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi, who takes office on May 10.

With Kraft likely to take over the athletic department, let's take a look at four things to know about the soon-to-be Nittany Lion.

1. He's a former football player and his football programs have found success

Kraft originally began his athletic career at Indiana University where he was a walk-on with the football program before eventually earning a scholarship.

One of the most notable wins of his tenure at Temple came when the Owls upset Penn State in 2015, beating the Nittany Lions for the first time in 74 years. The initial success culminated in an American Athletic Conference (AAC) Championship in 2016 under then-head coach Matt Rhule. Five of Temple's nine bowl appearances came with Kraft leading the athletic department.

Boston College has also found success in the two years under Kraft's stewardship, with head coach Jeff Hafley leading the Eagles to bowl eligibility in the last two years. However, Hafley was hired by previous Boston College athletic director Martin Jarmond, who left to lead the UCLA athletic department, opening the vacancy for Kraft.

2. He helped Boston College secure a $15 million gift for a basketball facility

One of Kraft's most notable accomplishments in his short time at Boston College benefited two of the larger programs at the university. He was able to help land a $15 million gift from Mikey and Jay Hoag to build the Hoag Basketball Pavilion. The building will be the practice facility for both the men's and women's basketball programs at Boston College.

The gift was one of the largest in Boston College history.

Construction for the facility began in March and when all is said and done, it will finish at roughly 40,000 square feet. Features for the facility will include a 2,220-square-foot strength and conditioning center that opens to the practice courts and a 2,100-square-foot locker rooms with dedicated lounges.

Penn State men's and women's basketball currently operate out of the Bryce Jordan Center, where both programs play their games.

3. He signed new apparel deals at Temple and Boston College

Penn State has been with Nike as an apparel company since 1993, but the details of its current deal are unknown. If that deal expires during Kraft's tenure, there's reason to believe he would secure a long-term contract with Nike or another company.

He previously helped Temple and Boston College get out of their deals with Under Armour to sign deals with new companies. At Temple, he negotiated a deal with Nike to become the athletic department's official outfitter in 2020 after five years with Under Armour.

At Boston College, he did the same with New Balance and Adidas. The deal with New Balance was for apparel and footwear for all non-football sports and lasts 10 years. It's the largest financial footwear and apparel deal in Boston College history.

He also helped the football program secure a deal with Adidas to outfit the program for three years, making it the first Football Bowl Subdivision ( FBS) school to have a football-only footwear and apparel deal.

4. He's had a mixed bag of prominent football hires

Kraft has been running athletic departments since 2015 when he was hired by Temple as one of the youngest athletic directors in the country at just 37 years old. He's had to navigate several paths in his seven years as an athletic director, beginning with his time as the Owls' athletic director.

The department's football program saw a resurgence under Kraft and then-head coach — and former Nittany Lion and State High football player — Rhule. Kraft was then tasked with replacing Rhule once he left for the Baylor Bears, tabbing Geoff Collins as the next Temple head coach, who was successful enough to eventually leave for Georgia Tech.

The AD originally chose Manny Diaz — Penn State's current defensive coordinator — to replace Collins, but Mark Richt's retirement at Miami pushed Diaz back to the Hurricanes less than three weeks later. Kraft then chose Rod Carey as head coach before leaving for Boston College.

Carey has since been fired after going 4-15 in his final two seasons with the Owls.

Kraft joined Boston College with a head coach firmly in place in Hafley, much like he will at Penn State with James Franklin.