The search for a brand new athletics director is officially underway for Penn State. It was announced on Wednesday that Sandy Barbour will retire from her position as athletics director this summer, leaving Penn State with a high-profile AD vacancy to fill moving forward.
Barbour’s retirement announcement comes months after Penn State locked in head football coach James Franklin to a 10-year contract and a year after making her last head coaching hire in men’s basketball head coach Micah Shrewsberry. Penn State also navigated its way out of the impact of the NCAA sanctions related to the Jerry Sandusky scandal and a global pandemic that left Beaver Stadium empty for an entire college football season all during Barbour’s tenure in Happy Valley.
“These last eight years have been the most incredible and satisfying of my career,” Barbour said in a released statement. “The passion, the commitment and the purpose with which the Penn State community pursues excellence is like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and I am honored and privileged to have had the opportunity to serve Penn State students, coaches, faculty, staff and our incredible community.”
Penn State said in a statement the school will conduct a national search to find its next athletics director, although no timeline for when a final decision will be made has been shared by the university. More details on this search will be shared at a later point in time, but prepare for the obligatory search firm hire to assist Penn State in the process of narrowing in on a new athletics director.
Some big challenges will be inherited for the next athletics director, including the ongoing task of renovating the athletics facilities, including Beaver Stadium. Fortunately, no coach on the Penn State payroll appears to be in any real jeopardy of quickly losing their job under a new AD. Athletic directors do like to hire their coaches of choice, but no situation appears to be in place for any such drastic changes under a new AD.
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