As Director of Athletics at Penn State University, Tim Curley is known for his dynamic and passionate leadership and as the driving force behind the Nittany Lions’ tremendous level of academic and athletic success.
Named Director of Athletics on December 30, 1993, his leadership has positioned Penn State among the nation’s premier athletic departments. During the Nittany Lions’ 18 years as members of the Big Ten Conference, Penn State has captured 21 NCAA Championships, more than double any other Big Ten school.
Recognized as a visionary, Mr. Curley is known as a fair but firm executive, whose primary focus on academic initiatives and resources for the coaching staff led Penn State student-athletes to both academic and athletic success. During the past 2 ½ years, 24 Penn State student-athletes earned Academic All-American honors and in October 2010, the NCAA reported that Penn State student-athletes achieved a school record 90 percent Graduation Success Rate, 11 points higher than the national Division 1A average.
Mr. Curley, a walk on football player at Penn State, first joined the Athletic Department as a graduate assistant and worked as a part-time football coach before being named full-time administrative assistant for the department. He then served as Assistant Athletic Director, a position he held for 12 years before being promoted to Director of Athletics.
Under his direction, the Athletic Department saw numerous physical improvements including the recently completed Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The Penn State baseball team shares the state-of-the-art facility with a short-season minor league team, the State College Spikes. Curley played a significant role in developing the unique partnership for the construction of the 5,406-seat stadium, which opened in June 2006.
Mr. Curley also oversaw an $88 million dollar gift from Terry and Kim Pegula to fund a new a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose arena and help establish an NCAA Division 1 men’s hockey program. The gift paved the way for the creation of a Division 1 women’s ice hockey program and enhanced figure skating opportunities. The hockey teams will begin play in 2012-13 and Pegula Ice Arena is expected to open in the fall of 2013.
In addition, his responsibilities include oversight of the athletic and recreational programs at the Penn State Commonwealth Campuses and of the expansive intramural/club sport programs — which included a fourth consecutive national championship in men’s ice hockey in 2003 and five women’s rugby national titles since 2000 — on the University Park campus, as well as general recreational activities.
Under Mr. Curley’s tenure and guidance, the Athletic Department developed its most ambitious fund-raising and athletics facilities campaigns with over $128 million raised for Intercollegiate Athletics through June 2008. The campaigns were part of the athletics physical plant improvement plan and the Nittany Lion Softball Park, golf clubhouse, soccer practice fields and men’s and women’s basketball offices are among projects recently completed or under construction.
As part of his commitment to leadership development, Mr. Curley envisioned and assisted in the creation of the benchmark Athletic Directors Leadership Institute to nurture and inspire young leaders. To date, over 80 student-athletes have participated in the program. Other notable accomplishments include a diversity program to ensure equality and fairness throughout the Penn State Athletic Department.
Tim Curley was voted president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) in 2005-06. In June 2009, his efforts in helping Penn State maintain its stature as one of the nation’s premier athletic programs were recognized with his selection as the Northeast Athletic Director-of-the-Year by NACDA. He was one of just four regional Division 1A honorees and previously received the award in 2003. Mr. Curley was a 2010-2011 fiinalist for the Sports Business Journal Athletic Director of the Year Award.
A Penn State graduate with a degree in Heath, Physical Education and Recreation (1976) and a Master’s degree in Secondary Counseling (1978), Mr. Curley’s dedicated and enthusiastic leadership has helped Penn State capture 27 Big Ten championships or tournament titles in the past six years, the second-highest total in the conference. Mr. Curley is committed to his community and served as Chairman of the Penn State United Way Campaign in 1996, and held Board of Director memberships for the American Red Cross, State College Quarterback Club and PNC Central PA Market Advisory Board.
A State College native, he and five brothers grew up across the street from New Beaver Field where some of his most memorable days as a youngster were spent at Rec Hall. He parked cars, sold game programs and served as a baseball batboy.
Tim Curley is married to the former Melinda Harr, a Penn State graduate. The Curleys have two children — a daughter, Devon, and a son, Tanner.