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Neeli Bendapudi To Lead Search For Penn State’s Next Athletic Director

Penn State’s president-elect, Neeli Bendapudi, will lead a nationwide search for the university’s next vice president for intercollegiate athletics, according to a release published Tuesday. Bendapudi will be assisted by TurnkeyZRG, a search firm that works within the sports and entertainment industries.

TurnkeyZRG will help identify potential candidates and work to recruit them to the university. The search firm is currently assisting major sports franchises like the New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Dodgers fill positions within their organizations.

While Penn State says more information about the search is “forthcoming”, it appears the university’s goal is to have a new athletic director in place by July 1.

“Penn State has one of the most successful athletics programs in the country, with a proven track record for educating and graduating our talented student-athletes,” Bendapudi said in the release. “Our partnership with TurnkeyZRG will be key to identifying a leader who is well positioned to further elevate the exceptional Penn State athletics experience. The University will seek a visionary leader to uphold the Nittany Lions’ demonstrated tradition of excellence on and off the field and support the continued development of our students, coaches and staff.”

Bendapudi outlined three major opportunities and needs for Penn State as a new athletic director comes in — fundraising, facilities, and NIL considerations. The president-elect is searching for someone who can conquer those needs but also uphold the university’s commitment to academic success.

The search for a new vice president for intercollegiate athletics comes after Sandy Barbour announced her retirement earlier this month. Barbour has held the position since 2014 and plans to continue to fill the role until a new athletic director is found.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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