Since his appointment as Director of Athletics in May 2015, after serving two years as Deputy Director of Athletics, Dr. Patrick Kraft has led a transformation in Temple University’s Department of Athletics. During his tenure, investments and enhancements in student-athlete welfare, in support of coaches and staff, in academic support and in facilities have provided deserved regional and national attention for the University.
In 2016, Kraft was recognized by the Sports Business Journal and by the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 for his work at Temple.
In 2018, Kraft was appointed to a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Strategic Vision and Planning Committee.
Among the accomplishments and initiatives during Kraft’s tenure:
On the Field
In the Classroom
- Football won the 2016 American Athletic Conference Championship, marking its first Conference Championship since 1967 and first Conference Championship Game ever; won 20 games in a two-year span, was nationally-ranked for consecutive seasons and competed in a bowl game in consecutive seasons, all for first time in school history; and football is one of five FBS teams to win 10 or more games in each of the past two seasons and play in its conference championship game in each year. The Owls finished off the 2017 season with a win in the Gasparilla Bowl. It was the fourth consecutive season that Football was bowl eligible, and the third straight year for competing in a bowl game. Both are program records.
- Men’s Basketball won its first American Athletic Conference Regular Season title (2016), and first regular season title since 2012; defeated nationally ranked teams (#24 Florida State, #19 West Virginia) in consecutive days for the first time in school history to win the 2016 NIT Season Tip-Off and earned a berth in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, marking its seventh appearance in nine years.
- Women’s Basketball cracked the Top 25 in 2017 for the first time since the 2005-06 season and made its first NCAA appearance in five years.
- Volleyball finished #47 in NCAA RPI in 2016, its best finish since the 2002 season and posted its third straight 20-win season. In 2017, Volleyball advanced to postseason play for the first time in 15 years with a bid to the WNIVC.
- Men's Soccer cracked the Top 25 in 2015 for the first time since 1997 and posted its first road win over Penn State since 1989.
- Women’s Lacrosse made an appearance in the Top 20 in 2016 for the first time since 2005.
- Women’s Gymnastics posted its best 10 scores in program history during the 2016-17 season and sent its first individual qualifier since 2009, Daisy Todd, to NCAA Regionals. In 2018, the Owls reached theird highest national ranking (#13) in program history.
- Women’s Fencing set a school record for wins in 2017 and earned its’ highest ever ranking (#6). In 2018, Malia Hee was named the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award recipient for academic and athletic excellence.
- Men’s Crew won the Varsity Eight, the JV Eight and the Freshman Eight championships at the 2018 Dad Vail Regatta. It is believed to be the first sweep of the eights at the Dad Vail in 50 years. The Varsity Eight set a course record of 5:34.409 and won Dad Vail gold for the first time since 2004. With the victory, the V8 earned an invitation to participate in the Henley Royal Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, U.K., for the first time since 1994.
- Women’s Soccer posted consecutive double-digit win seasons (2014, 2015) for the first time in program history.
- Blanca Fernandez became the first ever All-American in Temple Women’s Cross Country history and first women’s track All-American since 1988. Men’s Cross Country won its first-ever IC4A Championship and placed third in the AAC Championships, the best AAC finish in program history.
- Student-athletes achieved a record seven consecutive semesters with a combined GPA of 3.10 or above and 13 consecutive semesters above a 3.0. Sixteen programs earned a cumulative GPA greater than 3.0, led by women's volleyball (3.58) and men's tennis (3.46). Twelve of those programs combined for GPAs above a 3.40.
- Men’s Basketball, Men’s Cross Country, Football, Men’s Golf, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Cross Country, Fencing, Field Hockey, Lacrosse, Women’s Rowing, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Tennis, Women’s Track & Field and Volleyball (16 out of 19 sports) have achieved record team GPAs in the past six semesters.
- Sixty-nine percent of student-athletes earned at least a 3.0 GPA in the spring of 2017, setting a Temple Athletics record. Another record was set with seven teams earning public recognition for their Academic Performance Rate (APR) data. In the spring of 2018, an all-time record 178 student-athletes earned a semester GPA of 3.5+ as well as a record number of 27 student-athletes earned a perfect 4.0 semester GPA.
- With an average multi-year APR of 991, Temple ranked 12th in the nation among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions and led all full members of the American Athletic Conference in 2017. Temple also is one of just 17 FBS institutions with all sports having multi-year APR's of 970 or greater.
- Student-athletes posted a record high 88% Graduation Success Rate (GSR), setting a school-record for the seventh consecutive year. Temple also posted its highest Federal Graduation Rate (71%) since 2010. Temple's overall GSR number is tied for 24th among all Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools. Football posted a GSR of 86, tied for 14th in the nation along with Nebraska and Miami (Fla.). Temple is one of 11 FBS schools in the country with all teams over 77 in GSR. The other 10 schools are Alabama, Duke, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Stanford, Tulane, UCF, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech.
- Eight programs have earned record high GSRs in the last two years: Football, Men’s Basketball, Men’s Golf, Men’s Soccer, Men’s Tennis, Fencing, Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Tennis.
- Temple teams earned three conference Team Academic Excellence Awards in both 2015-2016 and 2016-17: Men’s Basketball (twice), Men's Cross Country, Men's Tennis, Volleyball, Lacrosse (Big East).
- The Graduating Class of 2016 was the largest in Temple Athletics history
- Facilitated the development of a number of initiatives aimed at improving the mental health of student-athletes, including the establishment of a partnership with Temple’s Department of Clinical Psychology to deliver onsite behavioral health coaching for student-athletes. Partnered with the University’s Student Health Services so its staff can be a resource for all student-athletes.
- Hired the first full-time mental health professional dedicated solely to handling student-athlete needs.
- Instituted a career program with more than 50 national and regional employers attending career development events, during which student-athletes have the opportunity to hone their networking skills and establish professional connections.
- The Verified Program was developed in 2016 to provide student-athletes with access to high level professionals to assist in their professional growth. The Verified program is a product of a strong collaboration between the Resnick Center and the Temple Career Center, which provides regular programming and career coaching for student-athletes throughout the academic year and summer.
- Students have served more than 9,000 community service hours in 65 projects since 2014-2015, four times more than in previous periods.
Enhancing Revenue and the Brand
- The Temple Sports Complex, home to men’s and women’s soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and track opened in the fall of 2016.
- The newly restored East Park Canoe House, home to men’s crew and women’s rowing, opened in 2016.
- New practice facility for Men’s Golf opened in 2017.
- New practice facilities for Men’s Crew, Women’s Rowing and Women’s Fencing were opened in the Fall of 2018.
- In the Winter of 2018, Temple opened the New York City Angels Student-Athlete Lounge, an on-campus location in which student-athletes can study, interact and relax.
- Enhancements have been made to athletic training facilities, strength and conditioning facilities, and to the student-athlete academic support center while locker room renovations and upgrades were also completed for each varsity team, including new locker rooms for Temple’s Olympic sports programs unveiled in 2015.
- Temple Athletics opened the doors to the brand-new STAR (Student Training and Recreation) Complex in the fall of 2017. The Complex offers a 10,000 square foot weight and cardio area, facilities for the Athletics and Campus Recreation departments, an indoor turf field, and a two-lane track outside the building.
- Annual donations have increased 75% over the last three years and the development office has had three consecutive record-setting years in annual fund raising, including multiple six and seven-figure commitments in support of our football program, the new Temple Owls Sports Complex, and the Men’s Crew and Women’s Rowing programs.
- Key partnerships with Learfield Sports Properties, Learfield Licensing Partners, and IMG/Learfield Ticket Solutions have been secured and enhanced as well as a lucrative rights deal with Under Armour.
- Created Owls TV, a video services arm dedicated to athletics, and developed a broad-ranging digital and social media department to integrate video and engage the Temple fan base.
- Temple Football posted the largest attendance gain among FBS programs during the 2015 season, playing in front of an average home crowd of 44,159, an increase of 20,789 per game.
- In 2015, ESPN’s College GameDay made its first trip to Philadelphia for a Temple football game.
Prior to Temple, Kraft served two years (2011-13) as the Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director at Loyola University Chicago. He was also a member of the senior staff at his alma mater, Indiana University, serving as Senior Assistant Director from 2009-11.
Kraft played football as an undergraduate at Indiana and holds three degrees from the University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sports marketing/management (2000), a master’s degree in athletic administration (2005), and a doctorate in sports management (2008).
Kraft and his wife, Betsy, reside in Haddonfield, N.J., with their daughter, Annabelle, and son, Joseph.