Penn State issued a press release today stating that Athletic Director David Joyner will retire, and has requested his duties end Aug. 1. Joyner has offered to assist with finding his replacement.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve Penn State,” Joyner said. “Our student athletes, coaches, staff and the University community were a daily source of inspiration for me. The spirit of Penn State is strong, and the department’s commitment to integrity, as well as academic and athletic excellence is stronger than ever.”
The release also noted that senior vice president for Finance and Business David Gray will chair the search committee tasked with finding Joyner’s replacement. More information about the search will be released in the coming days.
“We will be seeking candidates who have demonstrated a thorough understanding of NCAA rules and have a track record of success in meeting compliance standards,” Eric Barron said. “They also must have a commitment to academic integrity, and the academic progress and graduation of student-athletes.”
David Jones of Pennlive reported earlier today that Joyner would resign from the role.
Joyner had said that he would stay on as athletic director for as long as Rodney Erickson was president, so this move has been expected. No successor has been named, but on Sunday, the Chicago Tribune reported that Penn State had interest in Northwestern’s Jim Phillips to fill the role. Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers confirmed that Penn State will conduct a national search for Joyner’s replacement, but that search’s beginning has no timeframe.
Joyner took over in November 2011 for Tim Curley, and was in the role during five national championships. He also landed both Bill O’Brien and James Franklin. During his tenure, legendary fencing coach Emmanuil Kaidanov was fired after an incident involving a player with drugs (Kaidanov has since sued a number of parties including Joyner). When Joyner was a Penn State undergraduate, he was an All-American wrestler and football player. However, Joyner’s legacy is tainted to some for his seat on the Board of Trustees when Joe Paterno was fired.
I recommend reading Jones’ article on Joyner’s tenure, as it wraps up who he was as a leader nicely. Stay tuned for more updates in the athletic director search, as they now appear likely to come with more frequency.