Boston College moved swiftly to replace outgoing athletic director Martin Jarmond, agreeing to a deal with Pat Kraft, the school announced Wednesday.
Kraft spent the past five years as Temple’s AD. In 2016, he was on the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 list for his work at Temple. He has been credited with transforming Temple’s athletic program through coaching hires, investments in facilities, and a focus on student-athlete welfare and improved classroom performance.
“I am truly honored to be selected to serve Boston College as the steward of such a great intercollegiate athletics department,” said Kraft, who reportedly agreed to a five-year contract. “The core values of Boston College are in alignment with how I live my life and how I approach my job, creating world-class experiences for student-athletes with the utmost of integrity, character, faith, and love.
“We will compete for championships, we will continue to graduate young men and women who will go on to change the world, and we will represent BC with pride.”
As BC looks to build on the groundwork laid by Jarmond — most recently with the hiring of football coach Jeff Hafley in January — Kraft’s experience there ultimately was a deciding factor.
He was integral in reshaping the football program at Temple, first hiring Matt Rhule (now entering his first year as head coach with the Carolina Panthers) and then Geoff Collins (now at Georgia Tech) as head coaches, and transforming the program into one that went to five straight bowl games and winning its conference championship, the AAC in 2016, for the first time since 1967. Along with the football hires, he brought in coaches in men’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, and field hockey.
Kraft, 43, has experience as a player going back to his days as a walk-on at Indiana. He cut his teeth as a corporate sales manager for the AFL’s Chicago Rush before earning three degrees in sports management with the goal of eventually becoming an athletic director.
Before becoming AD at Temple, Kraft served as deputy director of athletics at Temple (2013-15), executive senior associate athletic director at Loyola University Chicago (2011-13), and senior assistant athletics director for marketing at Indiana University (2009-11). In 2018, Kraft was one of three finalists for the AD position at Maryland before the school went with Damon Evans.
Much like the impact Jarmond made in his three-year run at BC before leaving for UCLA, Kraft was able to offer Temple two things it sorely lacked: fund-raising and exposure. In four years at Temple, annual donations increased 75 percent, with several large gifts to the football program. Also, in 2015, Temple hosted ESPN’s College GameDay.
His fund-raising efforts helped pave the way for upward of $55 million in construction and renovation projects, which included the Temple Sports Complex, locker room enhancements, a student-athlete lounge, nutrition centers, and practice facilities.
Since 2018, Kraft has served on the NCAA’s Strategic Vision and Planning Committee. And since 2019, he has represented the American Athletic Conference on the NCAA’s Division 1 Football Oversight Committee.
“Pat understands intercollegiate athletics today and has extensive experience as a player at Indiana University, as well as an administrator at Loyola University Chicago and Temple,” said Rev. William P. Leahy, SJ, BC’s president. “He brings with him obvious passion, and a desire to be a part of the BC community. I look forward to working with him.”