St. Thomas Names Penn State Official New Athletic Director

Phil Esten Photo: Courtesy of St. Thomas
Phil Esten

November 12, 2018 01:50 PM

A former St. Thomas baseball player, who has gone on to hold leadership positions at both Big Ten and Pac-12 schools, is returning to take over the athletic department at his alma mater.

The school announced Monday that Phil Esten, a 1995 graduate, has been named the new vice president and director of athletics. He replaces longtime athletic director Steve Fritz, who announced earlier this fall he will retire in June.

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RELATED: Steve Fritz to Retire as AD at St. Thomas

Esten has been the deputy director of athletics and chief operating officer at Penn State since 2014. Prior to that, a release said, he worked at UC-Berkley, the University of Minnesota and Ohio State.

The release said Esten will start at St. Thomas after the Penn State football season concludes.

“I’m excited that we are bringing a Tommie home to lead our athletics program,” St. Thomas president Julie Sullivan said in a statement.

“I can’t tell you how important it is that Phil was a St. Thomas student-athlete and that he embraces the core principles of Division III athletics: a quality student-athlete experience, academic success and athletics as an integral part of the student-athlete educational experience. He took his and bachelor’s degree in corporate fitness-business from St. Thomas and used it to learn the business, operations and fundraising components of NCAA sports, while never losing sight of the student-athlete experience.” 


 


 

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