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Reports: Penn State Targeting Boston College’s Patrick Kraft For Next AD

Update, April 28: Penn State has reportedly finalized an agreement with Boston College’s Patrick Kraft to make him the Nittany Lions’ next athletic director, according to The Athletic’s Matt Fortuna.

While Kraft’s hire isn’t official yet, a Board of Trustees committee is expected to meet at 9 a.m. on Friday to discuss “personnel matters,” likely including Kraft’s contract. It seems likely the Nittany Lions will appoint Sandy Barbour’s successor within the coming days, if not sooner.

Original Story: Penn State is reportedly targeting Boston College’s Patrick Kraft as the university continues searching for its next athletic director, according to ESPN and The Athletic, among other outlets.

Kraft, 44, has served as Boston College’s athletic director since 2020. If a deal is finalized, he’d come to Penn State and succeed Sandy Barbour, who’s poised to retire this summer after leading the Nittany Lions’ department for about eight years.

Although his time at Boston College has been brief, Kraft has accomplished a good deal with the Eagles. He hired Earl Grant, Boston College’s men’s basketball coach, and helped the women’s lacrosse team win a national title. Kraft also secured a $15 million gift from donors that will construct a new men’s and women’s basketball facility.

Kraft also helped broker apparel deals with Nike and New Balance for his current and former programs.

Thanks to a five-year stint as Temple’s athletic director, Kraft already has plenty of experience working in Pennsylvania athletics. Before receiving that promotion, he served as Temple’s deputy athletics director and helped oversee the Owls’ football program under former coach Matt Rhule, a former Penn State linebacker.

Kraft isn’t a stranger to the Big Ten, either. He earned three degrees at Indiana and walked on to the Hoosiers’ football team as a linebacker. Kraft later worked at Indiana, as well as Loyola-Chicago and the Arena Football League’s Chicago Rush.

Should Penn State finalize a deal with Kraft, the move would likely be the first major win for President-elect Neeli Bendapudi, who formed a task force to find Penn State’s next athletic director just weeks ago. She’s set to take office in early May.

A move to Penn State could be a large undertaking for Kraft, who’d inherit an athletics department that oversees 31 varsity teams — two more than Boston College and 12 more than Temple. He’d also need to figure out how to move forward with plans to renovate the Nittany Lions’ facilities, especially since most projects have largely stalled since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’ll update this post as more information becomes available.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email (mattdisanto86@gmail.com) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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