Six months after Kevin Clark was named interim athletic director, the university announced last week that he has dropped the interim tag and was appointed vice president and athletic director.
Clark came to Temple from Indiana University with President Theobald as his senior adviser. He was appointed the interim athletic director after former Athletic Director Bill Bradshaw announced his retirement earlier this year.
When the university announced Bradshaw’s retirement in May, it indicated that Temple would conduct a national search to fill the vacancy. However, Theobald said in an email that the university canceled the search because Clark proved capable of taking the job during his six months as the interim.
“He is excellent at building consensus and I am impressed with his ability to master the details of big challenges. He demonstrated these skills in his six months as interim athletic director,” Theobald said. “Thus, I decided that we already had the right person in the athletic director chair and canceled the national search.”
Clark said that while it wasn’t part of his plan when he came to Temple, he is humbled by the opportunity to be athletic director.
“My plan was to come here and be the senior adviser to the president,” Clark said. “When he made the offer for me to take the position of director of athletics and vice president, it was an offer I really couldn’t pass up.”
Clark worked in Indiana’s athletic department for 11 years, most recently serving as senior associate athletic director of internal operations under Athletic Director Fred Glass.
Glass said Clark worked primarily as the chief financial officer in the athletic department, overseeing business operations as well as being a sport administrator for football, baseball and women’s basketball.
“He had the unusual combination of being very calm, he was never rattled,” Glass said in a telephone interview. “But also very practical in his advice. That’s a rare combination.”
Clark’s appointment as athletic director comes during a period of transition, as many of the university’s sports programs have moved from the Atlantic 10 Conference to the more competitive American Athletic Conference. Temple teams playing this fall have posted a combined 12-21-4 record, and rank toward the bottom of The American in attendance.
In analyzing attendance, Clark said an ideal situation would be to bring all sports on to Main Campus, but he said he would have to align his plans with the president’s. When asked about the speculation surrounding an on-or-near campus football stadium, Clark said it’s in discussion and that “If we can make that happen, that’d be really awesome.”
Clark said he is assessing the financial aspects of the athletic department, which is on a tighter budget than what he is used to at Indiana.
“At IU we had 24 sports and a budget over $70 million. Here, we have 24 sports with a budget of about $40 million,” he said. “That’s the biggest challenge for me is trying to make that work.”
Clark said that next year he would be coming out with a five-year plan for the athletic department.
“The first thing to do is to spend more time listening to what the coaches concerns are. Part of helping them will be to put together a plan,” Clark said. “A plan for facility upgrades, a plan for a budget, a plan for academic support.”
Prior to his stint at Indiana, Clark worked as a staff accountant at the NCAA from 1991 to 1996 and Saint Louis University from 1996 to 2001. At SLU, he served first as director of business and finance, and later as director of business administration and student development, according to a release from Temple.
Clark previously served 23 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and retired as a major.
Sean Carlin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @SeanCarlin84.
Avery Maehrer contributed reporting.