What They are Saying on Sandy Barbour

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July 26, 2014

Athletic Administrators

Sonny Dykes, California football coach
"Penn State has hired an effective and experienced college athletics administrator who has been successful at each of her previous stops. One of the most important and defining qualities about Sandy is that she always places the best interests of the student-athlete first. It was a pleasure to work with Sandy at Cal and I wish her all the best in University Park."

Bernard Muir, Stanford Director of Athletics
"Sandy is a dear friend and colleague.  Penn State is getting a passionate administrator who will put her student-athletes and coaches first and foremost.  I'm positive she will take the Nittany Lions and its storied program and traditions to even greater heights."

Joel Maturi, Minnesota Athletics Director (former)
"Sandy is one of the outstanding athletic administrators in the country. She is student-athlete centered with an understanding of the business side of college athletics. She is a great fit for Penn State."

Jim Phillips, Northwestern Vice President for Athletics & Recreation (former Notre Dame administrator with Barbour)
"Penn State has selected a tremendous leader in Sandy Barbour. Her commitment to maximizing the student-athlete experience has been on display at each of her previous stops and the Big Ten Conference is better for having her aboard."

Patti Phillips, CEO of NACWAA
"Sandy is one of the most talented leaders in our industry, but more importantly she is an extraordinary human being. She lives and leads with the highest integrity, and is a role model and inspiration to many. She has the utmost respect from her peers and is a visionary and talented leader in the athletics world."

Chris Plonsky, Texas Director of Women's Athletics
"Sandy is a great AD for coaches and student-athletes. She has broad experiences in intercollegiate athletics and is a woman of integrity, professionalism and spunk. Sandy has studied, tutored and been mentored by some of the great people in our profession."

Larry Scott, Pac-12 Commissioner
"In her nine years at the University of California, Sandy was a respected voice on important issues for the Pac-12 and a tireless advocate for Cal's tremendous student-athletes and athletic programs." 

Gene Smith, Ohio State Vice President and Director of Athletics 
"Sandy is one of the premier athletic administrators in higher education. Penn State will benefit from her many years of experience as a leader."

Kevin White, Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics
"Simply put, Sandy Barbour represents just a brilliant hire by Penn State! Her long and successful track record is filled with clear and distinct examples of impeccable integrity, inordinate courage, and unparalleled passion for the plight of the highly aspirational student-athlete. Couple all of that with her extraordinary intelligence, and that's precisely why Sandy Barbour is considered the ultimate 'gold standard' by everyone within our profession."

Penn State Head Coaches

Josh Brandwene, women's hockey
"I loved everything I heard today. She has passion, vision and just a great understanding of the Penn State community. Both as a head coach and as an alumnus, I am really excited to start working with her."

Patrick Chambers, men's basketball
"I would like to welcome Sandy Barbour to the Penn State family! I look forward to working with her in continuing to build a successful basketball program."

Rob Cooper, baseball
"Sandy was the athletic director at Tulane when I was an assistant coach there. I've always had great respect for her. I remember it was my first day on the job at Tulane. I was just a number two assistant coach. I'm out in the batting cage and all of a sudden, I see this woman walk across the field. She came up and introduced herself to me and it was Sandy. At the time, she was the acting athletic director at Tulane. I just thought that was impressive that she would take the time to welcome an assistant coach to the job. It has always made a big impression on me. I'm excited for this next chapter at Penn State."

James Franklin, football
"There is a culture, history and tradition of tremendous academic achievement at Penn State and that will continue. I know it's important to our president, athletic director and all of our coaches. That will continue. I know we'll spend as much time as we need to so we can start building." 

Wes Glon, fencing
"I heard exactly what I wanted to hear. I heard that we are family and we are going to go through hard times together and I hope that everything will go well in the future."

Amanda Lehotak, softball
"I'm excited. I think it's a new era. I think she brings a lot. I like that she's well-rounded, has a business background, been a coach and administrator and has admittedly been through tough times. College athletics is very different than it was 20 years ago and it's ever changing. I can't wait to work for her. I think I'll learn a lot from her in all aspects so I'm ready to get to work."

Greg Nye, men's golf
"I think her background is outstanding and I think she knows Penn State, she knows the recent history and I believe she is equipped to move us forward."

Mark Pavlik, men's volleyball
"I think that when someone whose belief in what Penn State is and what we do here is strong enough to lead us in that direction, you have to have great respect for that individual and you want them at the helm of ship."

Denise St. Pierre, women's golf
"I'm very pleasantly surprised with the new hire. It sounds like Sandy has a wealth of experience on many levels, which I think is so important for someone who is in this position because I always tell my own players that you can't fast forward experience and when you have experience, that's you're best teacher. She has those experiences and she's learned from some of those things that are challenges to us presently and I look forward to her leadership and I look forward to learning from her."

Jeff Tambroni, men's lacrosse
"I think the initial thought is excitement. We have a leader to pass the baton from Dr. Joyner now on to someone that has the excitement that Sandy does and the background that Sandy does. I think the entire coaching staff, I would imagine, is excited about the stability that she'll bring, along with Dr. Barron and the possibilities of our future with her at the helm."

Jeff Thompson, women's gymnastics
"First of all, as a coach of a women's sport, I think it's great to see a female as the head of the athletic department. To get someone with the experience that she has from such a well-known school, a big time athletic department with a huge budget that has gone through some problems, she understands the issues that we've gone through. I'm excited to finally put the rudder in the water, pick a direction and let's go. Anybody that wants to come here and lead us, I'm ready to follow."

Bob Warming, men's soccer
"Obviously, it's terrific to get a person with her experience. It's the first time I heard her speak and she is incredibly articulate and thoughtful. I'm really looking forward to working with her."

Coquese Washington, women's basketball
"I am truly thrilled that Sandy Barbour will serve as the next athletic director for Penn State. Sandy is a strong, dynamic and passionate leader. She is also an incredibly smart visionary and strategic thinker. It is exciting to imagine all the ways Penn State University, and Penn State athletics in particular, will be positively impacted by her leadership."

Jeff Zinn, men's tennis
"I'm excited reading her bio that she was an undergrad student at Wake Forest. I know Wake Forest well because of my previous employer before I came to Penn State. I know she has got a fine academic background, so I like that, and that she has been in coaching. I think the entire coaching staff is looking for stability and leadership in the forward direction that we need to go. With Dr. Barron coming on board, and now with Sandy, I feel like we're headed in that direction. I don't want to put words in all the coaches' mouths, but I feel like that is what we have wanted, some clear direction, and now is the beginning of that."


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