By Kevin Stone/@kstone06/@newftbj
It wasn’t your standard introductory press conference, but new Boston College athletic director Pat Kraft met the media via a large Zoom call on Monday.
Kraft was introduced with many big names on the call ranging from local media personalities, to Jerry York and coach Hafley. Kraft had a brief initial speech thanking the committee that ultimately hired him and his family after he was introduced, then dove in to answering questions on a number of topics for just over a half hour.
In regards to football being played at The Heights this year, Kraft was cautiously optimistic, but wouldn’t say whether fans will be allowed back in yet.
“There’s a lot of challenges,” he said. “What will the stadium look like? I can tell you this, I’m very confident about football in the fall, I’m on the football oversight committee, and if you were to ask me 12-15 weeks ago, I would have been a little less confident, but I think the way things are moving, and things change every single day as you all know, but I’m very confident with the right rollout and protection in place – and I know the ACC has had many calls – I think we’re going to be in good shape.
“Will there be fans in the stands and all that? Still left up (in the air), I don’t know, but I do feel comfortable, I feel really good that there will be football and sports in the fall.”
Kraft also spoke about why he chose Boston College.
“Boston College has been the job for me,” said Kraft. “I look at it where it’s so rare you have your personal beliefs and personal system and faith and family all coincide with your professional life. What my wife Betsy and I were looking for – we were happy at Temple – we’ve built it to a place that’s wonderful and the people are incredible. So, our next move would’ve had to be something really special and this checked every box for us.
“I have always had my eye on this job since my time at Loyola University (Chicago) this (job) as the important one for me. Jesuit, big time college football, in the ACC, so as things started to unravel – I won’t talk about the process – but this was really a dream job for me and we want to be part of the community. My oldest daughter is getting involved in first grade, and so we want to be part of a community we can be part of for the long term and really be part of something special. As we went through the process it reaffirmed everything we thought. The people are incredible, the opportunity is amazing, momentum’s moving in the right direction, that was really why Boston College (was the fit).”
With Boston being a dominant pro sports town and college athletics virtually non existent, a few questions were brought up regarding Kraft’s thoughts on how Boston College can get to the forefront of sports fans’ minds here in a New England, a place Eagle athletics haven’t been in quite some time, especially the football program.
“When I was in Philadelphia it was very similar, it was Eagles all the time,” said Kraft. “You have to find ways to engage, you have to get your message out, you have to find ways to get your own message out and communicate. This goes for everybody but coaches are critical to this. Now, there is no magic bullet, you’re not just all of the sudden going to flip a switch, but what you do is you engage your alumni first.
“We need to get the younger fans in Boston to understand what Boston College is, engage them at a younger age. Let them be part of the process so they grow up wanting to go to BC and wanting to be a part of the BC family culture and going to games.”
Kraft was also very adamant about making sure that both mental health discussions and racial equality discussions continue under his watch at every level over at The Heights once students begin to return.
“Not just student athletes, but coaches, administrators, everybody has to be on the same page,” Kraft said. “This is an important time for us. This is an important time in our country, and I believe we have to continue to talk about this and it make it a part of everything we do every single day no matter how long it takes.”