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Report: Sandy Barbour Plans To Retire In 2023

Update 12:26 p.m.: A Penn State spokesperson clarified that Sandy Barbour did not indicate her plans to retire when her contract expires in August 2023 in her interview with State College Magazine.

Original Story: Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour plans on retiring at the end of her current contract in August 2023, according to a feature on her in State College Magazine titled “Home Stretch.”

The Board of Trustees’ compensation committee recently approved Barbour’s new contract extension; she’ll make an average of $1,269,000 annually until the deal expires.

“I’ve told you all before, this is my last stop,” Barbour said after announcing she agreed to the extension on December 31. “Where would I want to go that’s a better opportunity, a better fit for me? This next contract will certainly help me do that.”

Barbour will be 63 years old at the end of her current deal. She began her tenure in charge of the Nittany Lions’ 31 athletic programs in August 2014 following a 10-year term as the University of California’s AD. Barbour also ran Tulane’s athletic programs from 1996-1999 before taking on associate and deputy AD roles at Notre Dame from 2000-2004.

The first female athletic director in Penn State history was named athletic director of the year by the NACDA following her program’s nine conference championships and one national title in 2016-17. Forbes also recognized her as the 24th-most powerful person in college athletics, and she was also a finalist for the Sports Business Conference’s AD of the year award in 2018.

Penn State has won a total of six national championships and 25 Big Ten titles throughout Barbour’s tenure, including the wrestling program’s fourth consecutive national championship in 2019.

Beyond her program’s success on the court, field, and ice, Barbour is currently overseeing a master plan to renovate some of the athletic facilities at Penn State. The first major project completed during Barbour’s tenure was the transformation of Greenberg Ice Pavilion into the Morgan Academic Center for student-athletes, and Panzer Stadium opened its doors for both of Penn State’s lacrosse programs this season.

The athletic director also helped bring Blake Shelton to Happy Valley for the first-ever concert at Beaver Stadium, and the Buffalo Sabres have also played two preseason games at Pegula Ice Arena since August 2014.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

In the most upsetting turn of events, Mikey graduated from Penn State with a digital & print journalism degree in the spring of 2020. He covered Penn State football and served as an editor for Onward State from 2018 until his graduation. Mikey is from Bedminster, New Jersey, so naturally, he spends lots of time yelling about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey also loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is really hard. If you, for some reason, feel compelled to see what Mikey has to say on the internet, follow him on Twitter @Mikey_Mandarino. You can also get in touch with Mikey via his big-boy email address: [email protected]

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