From Mirror reports
UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State is searching for a new director of athletics.
Sandy Barbour, who held the position for the past eight years, announced Wednesday morning that she will retire this summer.
“These last eight years have been the most incredible and satisfying of my career,” Barbour said in a statement released by the university. “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.”
Barbour, 62, said Penn State “captured my heart and will always hold a treasured place.”
Named as a university vice president for athletics in 2019 and under contract until July 2023, Barbour spent 40 years as an administrator and coach in college athletics, including at Northwestern, Tulane, Notre Dame and Cal.
“We are incredibly grateful for Sandy’s leadership and dedication to Penn State’s athletics program, student-athletes, coaches and staff and fans across the commonwealth and beyond. It’s been an honor to work with her,” said outgoing Penn State President Eric Barron. “Through her forward thinking, competitive spirit, and passion for people and sports, Sandy has built a collegiate model to aspire to and has helped the Nittany Lions thrive as one of the nation’s most successful athletics departments.”
Barbour’s highest profile hirings were men’s basketball coach Micah Shrewsberry, women’s coach Carolyn Kieger and Katie Schumacher-Cawley, who replaces Russ Rose.
High-profile coaches James Franklin (football) and Cael Sanderson (wrestling) were in place prior to her arrival.
Barbour orchestrated Franklin’s 10-year contract extension, announced this past November.
Barbour, a native of Annapolis, Maryland, led a comprehensive effort to modernize and renovate the university’s athletics facilities, including through the development of a master plan that provides a 20-year road map for addressing current and long-term needs for competition, practice and training facilities.
Among these efforts were the renovation of the former Greenberg Indoor Sports Complex to convert the facility into the new home for the Morgan Academic Center, which provides a central academic hub for Penn State student-athletes, Lasch Football Building renovation, and transformation of the Penn State Lacrosse Field into Panzer Stadium.
Among her leadership roles, Barbour serves as the 2021-22 chair of the NCAA’s Football Oversight Committee and represents the Big Ten Conference on the NCAA Division I Council.
She is one of five finalists for the Sports Business Journal’s prestigious Athletic Director of the Year for the third time in her career and second time at Penn State (2009 and 2018). In 2020, she was among the honorees of Sports Illustrated’s list of the most powerful in sports.
Penn State plans to conduct a national search for Barbour’s replacement.
Barron is also retiring and will be replaced by Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi, who begins in July.