Boston College Introduces Patrick Kraft as New Athletic Director
On Monday afternoon, Boston College introduced Dr. Patrick Kraft as their next athletic director. University president Father Leahy introduced Kraft to the media and various university personnel via a Zoom call. Kraft, who comes to BC from Temple, will replace Martin Jarmond, who left after three years to become the new AD at UCLA.
In his opening remarks, Leahy laid out what BC was looking for in their candidate pool. They needed to be "known for personal intergrity, and follow NCAA regulations." he explained. "(The) Individual follows BC's philosophy and mission" while "linking academics, athletics and service." He continued saying that BC wanted a proven leader, and administrator with a record of proven success, and someone who could motivate student athletes, alumni and donors. The person who checked all those boxes was Temple AD Patrick Kraft.
Kraft, an energetic and enthusiastic speaker, explained his background to those in attendance. "I'm a Chicago kid, who grew up in a Catholic family. I'm full of passionate of energy for both school and sports." He played football at Indiana University, and earned three degrees there, his most recent being a PhD in Sports Management. After spending time as a senior associate AD at Loyola, he spent the last five years as the AD at Temple.
Faith and values are clearly of big importance for Kraft. He said that Boston College was a "dream job" for him. "It is so rare when you have your personal beliefs and person system and faith coincide with your professional life." Kraft said. "It had to be something special, this checks every box."
The values of Boston College stood out to him, and helped make this decision easy, even though he was happy at Temple. "Boston College is the paradigm for college athletics." Kraft explained. "It is filled with incredibly smart and dedicated student athletes. A commitment to excellence. A department that stands on a bedrock of principles and Jesuit values."
Kraft joked that he is a football guy at heart but he looks forward to winning national championships and traveling to the Frozen Four with legendary men's head coach Jerry York. He also said that he places incredible value in all 31 sports on campus, including the non-revenue sports. When speaking on the football team, he praised new head coach Jeff Hafley, explaining that he had a lot in common with former Temple and now Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule. Kraft, a member of the NCAA Oversight Committe, also explained that he believes that college football will happen this fall.
The topic of the recent protests and demonstrations against racial injustice also was discussed during the call. Kraft believes that there is "no better place to deal with these issues than a place that focuses on social justice" like Boston College. This is not just a player issue either to the new AD. He wants these conversations to continue with administrators, coaches and players every day.
Kraft talked about creating great student athletes who excel both in the classroom and on the field. "I never forget what I do, never, the student athletes. Period. They are at the center of every decision I make."
He also insisted that BC has the infrastructure to go to the next level. "I wouldn't be here if I didn't think there was a chance to win championships and compete at the highest level". This was a point he drove home multiple times during his conversation.
We will be champions, and we will not allow excuses to get in the way."
Kraft's conversation was filled with energy, something he promises will be felt throughout the program. "I promise you this, we will outwork every other program in the country, and it will start with me."
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