Drew Katz refuses to turn off a football game if his team is losing badly. So when his wife wanted to turn off the TV as Temple’s loss to the University of Houston unfolded before them on Friday night, he stopped her.
“We’re watching this all the way through,” he said to her.
Early in the third quarter, Temple quarterback P.J. Walker fumbled the ball just inches outside of the end zone, missing a chance to tie the score. Houston scored 14 unanswered points afterward to round out a 31-10 victory at TDECU Stadium.
The George Washington University and Stanford Law School graduate couldn’t take his eyes off the game.
“Notwithstanding the fact that I didn’t go to Temple, I am a Temple fan,” Katz said.
In an Oct. 14 general body meeting, Katz was elected to a four-year-term on the Board of Trustees and appointed to the Athletics committee, which has grown to 13 members after seating seven last year.
At the meeting, Joseph Marshall III, who serves on the Trustee Affairs committee, introduced a recommendation to elect Katz to a four-year term, which the trustees approved unanimously.
Gov. Tom Corbett, who is responsible for appointing three of Temple’s 36 trustees, called Katz to ask him about being his new selection, the trustee said in a phone interview Saturday.
Katz instead asked permission to fill the seat of his father – trustee and alumnus Lewis Katz, whose seat was left vacant after his death in May, just days after he and fellow trustee H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest won ownership of The Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com.
In mid-June, Drew Katz sold his inherited shares to Lenfest, which he attributed in a statement to the “extraordinary and completely unanticipated circumstances” of his father’s death.
Katz said he will spend the coming months continuing a tradition and fulfilling commitments his father made, which includes sitting on the Athletics committee.
“I think my father would find no greater honor,” Katz said.
Katz said he will honor his father’s $25 million donation pledge to Temple’s School of Medicine, the largest in the university’s history. The elder Katz made the donation in November 2013 after receiving an award from the Fox School of Business but did not give a specific purpose for it until May, when he requested the money go to the School of Medicine. Temple responded by naming the school after Katz.
Katz declined to comment on the Athletics committee’s growth in membership, but said he will “learn more about what I can do to help” at the committee’s first meeting on Dec. 8.
He said he has already reached out to football coach Matt Rhule and basketball coach Fran Dunphy, and will speak to Dunphy’s class “Management, Theory & Practice: From the Locker Room to the Board Room” this year.
The new trustee serves as CEO of Interstate Outdoor Advertising, which manages advertisements for more than 1,000 billboards and other outdoor advertisements.
Anthony McIntyre, a member of the Athletics committee and former Temple football player under coach Wayne Hardin, expressed excitement at Katz joining the Board.
“We’re excited he wants to continue a legacy,” McIntyre said. “You know, he could get involved with a million other things, so we’re glad to have him here at Temple.”
Patrick O’Connor, who chairs the Board, was also enthusiastic about Katz’ election to the Board.
“I believe he will become one of the great trustees Temple has,” O’Connor said. “He shares his father’s visions, his father’s values and his love for Temple.”
While Katz said he was ready to take his father’s spot on the Board, he still would rather be called “Drew” than “Mr. Katz.”
“There was only one Mr. Katz, and that was my father,” he said.
Joe Brandt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter @JBrandt_TU