Athletics, Top Story, Sports

Athletics Director Pat Kraft Hired Away to Penn State

After two years as Boston College’s athletics director, Pat Kraft signed a contract on Friday to become Penn State’s next athletics director, Penn State announced. He will assume the role on July 1. He is the third athletics director to depart BC Athletics since 2017. 

BC hired Kraft in June 2020 after former athletics director Martin Jarmond left BC for UCLA. Kraft came to the Heights after seven years at Temple, serving as the school’s athletics director for five of those years. 

Kraft will replace Sandy Barbour, who served in the position at Penn State for the last eight years. 

In his tenure at BC, Kraft played a part in a number of major advancements in the athletic department, including orchestrating the hiring of Earl Grant as BC men’s basketball’s head coach on March 15, 2021. 

BC signed a historic 10-year deal with New Balance under Kraft to become the official footwear and apparel provider for the Eagles. The agreement is the largest footwear and apparel agreement in BC history and grants New Balance the rights to provide uniforms, apparel, and footwear to 30 of BC’s 31 varsity athletic programs, excluding only BC football

In May, BC announced its plans for a new men’s and women’s basketball facility funded partially by a $15 million gift from University trustee Michaela “Mikey” Hoag, BC ’86, and her husband, Jay. Construction on the 40,000 square-foot Hoag Basketball Pavillion began this spring. 

A number of BC’s teams flourished during Kraft’s time on the Heights. In 2021, BC lacrosse won its first national championship in program history. 

In 2020, BC men’s hockey earned its 11th Hockey East regular season title under head coach Jerry York, and in 2021 it advanced to the NCAA Tournament. 

In the 2021–22 season, BC women’s basketball earned the No. 1 overall seed in the National Invitation Tournament for its first postseason appearance since 2011. 

BC football earned a Bowl game berth in both the 2020 and 2021 seasons but opted out of selection in 2020 and did not play due to COVID-19 issues in 2021. 

Much of Kraft’s work at BC involved navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused changes and alterations to numerous athletic seasons. 

With Kraft’s departure, BC will search for its fourth athletics director since 2017. Whoever is hired will first be tasked with hiring a replacement for York, who retired on April 13 after 28 years as the men’s hockey head coach. 

April 29, 2022