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Cross Named Penn State Assistant Athletic Director

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Aug. 3, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State today announced the appointment of Dr. Michael Cross as Assistant Athletic Director -- New Business Development. Cross brings nearly 25 years of coaching and athletic administrative experience to Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics.

In his role at Penn State, Cross will serve as the sport administrator for the men's and women's hockey teams and oversee the men's and women's rugby club programs. Additionally, he will be charged with identifying new business and revenue generation opportunities, engaging with various constituencies within the Penn State communities and intercollegiate athletics.

From Buffalo, New York, Cross comes to Penn State after serving the past five years as the Director of Athletics at Bradley University. He will begin his duties at Penn State in late August.

"We are thrilled to have Michael Cross joining our team," said Phil Esten, Deputy Director of Athletics/COO. "Michael is a vastly experienced administrator with significant success in identifying and creatively developing new and enhanced revenue generation opportunities. As a former student-athlete and proven administrator, he brings an intense focus on student-athlete development and understands the potential impact new and increased revenue streams have on creating conditions for success for Penn State student-athletes."

"I am tremendously appreciative of the opportunity extended by Sandy Barbour and Phil Esten, and their faith in my ability to contribute to the future of the department," Cross said. "Penn State's exceptional combination of championships with unwavering academic excellence sets the standard nationally. It is exciting to join a progressive leadership team that embodies "One Team" and simultaneously values tradition and creativity. My family and I look forward to immersing ourselves in all that State College has to offer."

As Director of Athletics at Bradley, Cross was instrumental in leading the school to its best-ever finish in the Missouri Valley Conference all-sports standings in 2013-14, implemented a series of marketing and branding initiatives and boosted the department's revenue. Cross oversaw the classroom improvement of Bradley student-athletes, who posted a school record 3.32 grade-point average during the 2014 fall semester, with all 15 teams earning a 3.0 GPA or better. More than 80 percent of Bradley student-athletes earned a 3.0 GPA or higher during each of Cross' last three full years as AD.

During his tenure at Bradley, Cross signed the school's first-ever all-sports apparel deal with Adidas and secured the largest corporate sponsorship agreement in Bradley history, leading to a school record total of corporate sponsorship revenue. Cross also negotiated a muti-media rights agreement with Nelligan Sports Marketing (now owned by Learfield Sports) and instituted a consistent branding strategy and style guide for the athletic department.

Cross was a member of the Princeton University athletics administration from 1999-2009 before moving to Bradley. He served his final three years as Executive Associate Director of Athletics, including a five-month stint as Acting Director of Athletics. Cross was a leading member of the senior management team that was responsible for the Tigers' 38 programs.

A 1991 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, Cross served at the University of Michigan as Assistant Director of Compliance, NCAA Certification Assistant and as a Graduate Assistant from 1994-99. He also was Assistant Director of Student Activities at Assumption College in 1993-94. While at SUNY-Buffalo, Cross was the Assistant to the Dean of Students from 1992-93, a graduate assistant men's basketball coach in 1991-92, and a three-year letterwinner on the basketball team as a undergraduate.

He has served on the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance and the NCAA Baseball and NCAA Research committees.

Cross graduated from SUNY-Buffalo with a degree in economics (1991) and a master's in education in 1993. He earned a doctoral degree in higher education from Michigan in 1999.

Cross and his wife, Jennifer, have two sons, Aidan and Nathan.




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