Neil Theobald comes to Temple knowing what it takes to succeed in the classroom and on the field. Serving as the Chief Financial Officer at Indiana University, Theobald was involved in the start of the Big Ten network, managing funds in the area of athletics to help make money for the university.
“Athletics is the front door for so many people in the community to come in to Temple and get to know the things we do,” he points out.
Theobald has made his presence visible at major Temple sporting events, such as last year’s NCAA basketball tournament and this season’s football opener at Notre Dame.
Although football and basketball are Temple’s main revenue-generating sports, President Theobald is keen on supporting the athletic department as a whole, checking out new sports as a whole.
“It’s just fun to come out on a lovely day like this and see some field hockey, a game I’ve never seen before.”
Before the team took the field against conference rival Rutgers, President Theobald supplied the owls with a pre-game speech.
“I think it’s great for our athletes to see the president at our game,” says Temple Field Hockey head coach, Amanda Janney. “I think we, as administrators, we know that the President supports us. He’s very athletic-friendly, in terms of supporting the athletes and our athletic department”
“I used to be a high school baseball coach,” Theobald continued, “so I gave him the same speech I always gave my players…when things get going tough, it’s pride that matters.”
After the team pulled off a 2-1 victory against the Scarlet Knights, the president came over once more to congratulate the team.
“He was really impressed with the game of field hockey. He said it was an exciting game, he saw how hard our players were working. That they were just running all over the place,” Coach Janney stated.
Theobald noted, “Every time I interact with the players here, they’re really wonderful. So, it’s just wonderful to interact with them, and the coaches. I’m really impressed with the coaches. We have a great set of coaches.”