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Esten taking over for Fritz at St.Thomas

New AD is a Tommie, and former a Gopher athletic administrator

November 12, 2018 - 12:02 pm

The new athletic director at the University of St. Thomas is Phil Esten.

He takes over next year when Steve Fritz retires after 27 years leading Tommie athletics.

Esten is a 1995 graduate of St. Thomas, where he played baseball for the Tommies, and has spent the last four years as deputy AD at Penn State.

From 2004 to 2012, Esten was assistant athletic director at the University of Minnesota, where he was the point person for construction of TCF Bank Stadium.

He's also worked in the athletics departments at the University of California and Ohio State.

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

Esten will start working at St. Thomas after Penn State's football season ends.

“President Sullivan’s vision for St. Thomas is both ambitious and inspiring. She is committed to excellence in all areas. I’m truly honored to have the opportunity to work alongside her, the St. Thomas Board of Trustees and so many others on campus who share a passion for St. Thomas,” Esten said.

Esten is the third St. Thomas athletic director since 1968. Frank Mach was hired that year and served until Fritz took over in 1992.