Michael Cross, PhD
Athletics Administrator, Penn State University and Co-Founder/CEO, Athlete Viewpoint
Michael Cross is a tireless advocate for the college athlete based on his own experience as a student-athlete, coach, administrator and athletic director. He has over two decades of professional practice including stops at the University of Michigan, Princeton University, Bradley University and Penn State University where he is currently the sport administrator for six teams and oversees new business development. He also serves on the Executive Committee for the Penn State Center for the Study of Sport in Society: an interdisciplinary center that leverages the expertise of Penn State faculty and staff with academic and research interests in sports across the University.
He has extensive national service experience and is a current member of the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Committee, with previous membership on the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance, the NCAA Baseball committee and NCAA Research committee.
Michael arrived at Penn State after serving as the Director of Athletics at Bradley University for five years, where he was instrumental in leading the school to its best-ever finish in the Missouri Valley Conference all-sports standings and had over 80 percent of Bradley student-athletes earn a 3.0 GPA or higher during each of his last three years as AD.
During his tenure at Bradley, Michael signed the school’s first-ever all-sports apparel deal with Adidas and secured the largest corporate sponsorship agreement in Bradley history, leading to a school record total of corporate sponsorship revenue. He also negotiated a multi-media rights agreement with Nelligan Sports Marketing (now owned by Learfield Sports) and instituted a consistent branding strategy for the athletic department that was ultimately adopted University-wide.
Michael was a member of the Princeton University athletics administration from 1999-2009. He served his final three years as the Executive Associate Director of Athletics, including a five-month stint as Acting Director of Athletics.
In 2016, Michael co-founded Athlete Viewpoint: an outsource option for intercollegiate athletic departments to assess the student-athlete experience. Athlete Viewpoint partners with athletics departments across the country to assist with all aspects of department evaluation including end-of-season athlete surveys, diversity and inclusion, culture and climate evaluation, alumni and donor relations and risk management. In addition to their work with colleges and universities, ongoing relationships include the Big Ten Conference, Women Leaders in College Sports, CoSIDA and the NJCAA.
Michael graduated from SUNY-Buffalo with a degree in economics and a master’s in education. He earned a doctoral degree in higher education from the University of Michigan in 1999. He and his wife, Jennifer, live in State College, Pennsylvania and have two sons.