Patrick Kraft said it took a lot for him to leave Temple as athletic director.
Kraft, who was named to the same position at Boston College last week, discussed his time at Temple and moving forward in a phone interview Monday
“This is a bittersweet moment,” said Kraft, who was with Temple for seven years, including the last five as athletic director. “The faith component was such a big part for me.”
Kraft was referring to working at Boston College, a private Jesuit university.
In addition, it was a chance to work at a Power 5 school. Temple competes in the American Athletic Conference, considered among the top Group of Five schools in football and men’s basketball.
Boston College is in the vaunted Atlantic Coast Conference, annually among the best in men’s basketball and highly regarded in all sports.
“Competing in the ACC is such a great challenge,” he said.
Kraft, 43, decided to stay at Temple through the end of the month, especially with so much unsettled because of the pandemic. He will officially begin at Boston College on July 1.
“Temple means a lot to me and we worked so hard to get where we are and I am so close to many people,” Kraft said. “I wasn’t going to get up and high-tail out at such a critical time. And the people at Boston College have been great about it.”
A former football player at Indiana, Kraft served as senior assistant athletic director at his alma mater from 2009 to 2011. He was the executive senior associate athletic director at Loyola University in Chicago from 2011 to 2013.
Kraft was then hired by Temple, where he served as deputy director of athletics for two years before being named the athletic director in May 2015.
Kraft said he has had his eye on Boston College even before he was hired at Temple.
“Since I was at Loyola Chicago, I thought the Boston College job, if at the right time and things worked out, would be something special,” Kraft said.
The Boston College position opened when Martin Jarmond, was named the director of athletics at UCLA in May.
During his time at Temple, Kraft was considered a candidate for some Power 5 athletic director jobs. He was a finalist in 2018 at Maryland and was considered a candidate this spring when Indiana filled its athletic director position.
Much of an athletic director’s tenure is judged by the fortunes of the football and men’s basketball teams. Boston College has a new football coach in Jeff Hafley, who succeeded Steve Addazio, also formerly a head coach at Temple. (Addazio has since been hired as head coach at Colorado State.)
Boston College has not won more than seven football games in a season since going 8-5 in 2009.
While Kraft was athletic director, Temple won the AAC East Division title in 2015 and the overall AAC championship in 2016 and has earned a bowl berth in each of the last five years, a school record. All this came as he had to hire three football coaches, including Manny Diaz, who stayed just 18 days before taking the same position at Miami. Temple went 8-5 last season in coach Rod Carey’s first year.
“What I was most proud of in football is we were consistent,” Kraft said. “We had our first 10-win season [in 2015] and people were wondering if we were a flash in the pan, then were conference champions [in 2016], and then through the coaching transitions we have remained highly competitive.”
During his time as athletic director, Temple earned NCAA Tournament berths in men’s basketball in 2016 and 2019.
Like the football team, the Boston College men’s basketball program has also struggled, failing to reach the NCAA Tournament since 2009.
So Kraft faces plenty of challenges in his new job. But he will leave the old one with plenty of good memories.