November 2, 1954
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Occupation||Entrepreneur, sports team executive and owner, author, TV personality|
Pasquale "Pat" Croce (born November 2, 1954) is an American entrepreneur, sports team executive and owner, author, and TV personality.
Early life and career
Croce is the son of an Italian American father and Irish American mother. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in 1977. He began his career as a physical therapist and was a physical conditioning and rehabilitation coach for the Philadelphia Flyers and an administrative director of the Sports Medicine Clinic of Haverford Community Hospital. Later an athletic trainer for the Philadelphia 76ers for more than 10 years, originally hired to help thin 7'6" center Shawn Bradley bulk up.He is a black belt in taekwondo, and commentates on Olympic Taekwondo during the Summer Olympics. He founded Sports Physical Therapists in 1984 and grew the business into a chain of 40 centers spanning 11 states before selling it in 1993 for $40 million. As of October 22, 2014, Croce had a net worth of $300 million.
He became president of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team in 1996 as part of a group led by Flyers founder Ed Snider and Comcast that bought the team. Under their ownership, the Sixers went from last place in 1996 to the NBA Finals in 2001. He resigned after the 2001 season. He appeared on the cover of Success magazine as the first trainer to rise to an ownership position with a professional sports team. He has also been featured in Inc. and Sales & Marketing Management.
His second book I Feel Great and You Will Too! was an autobiography that chronicled (among other things) his years at West Chester University and University of Pittsburgh, meeting his wife Diane Croce, starting his own business, purchasing the Sixers, and his 1999 motorcycle accident. The book is laced with career and personal advice Croce has gathered through his life. Following its release, the book made The New York Times Best Seller list. Croce has written other self-help books: 110% (2001); Lead Or Get Off The Pot (2004); Pat Croce's Victory Journal (2002); and the Do It Now! Journal (2004)—three of which topped The New York Times best-seller list.
Croce is also the author of several books on pirates, including Pirate Soul (2006) and My Pop Pop Is A Pirate (2008). More recently, Croce has written and released an illustrated book, Blackbeard, and The Pirate Handbook (both released in 2011). He is currently working on a series of historic fiction books based on the lives of pirates such as Sir Francis Drake and Henry Morgan.
Life after the 76ers
Since leaving the 76ers, Croce was a television commentator on the NBA on NBC and was a taekwondo commentator for the 2004 Summer Olympics. In 2004, he hosted his own syndicated self-help television show, Pat Croce: Moving In, which premiered on September 13, 2004 and was canceled in 2005.
In January 2005, he opened the $10 million St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum in Key West, Florida. The museum features authentic pirate artifacts, many from Croce's personal collection. In February 2006, he opened the pirate-themed Rum Barrel restaurant next to the museum. It was announced in February 2010 that the museum was being moved to St. Augustine, Florida. The museum opened on December 8, 2010.
As of January 2010, Croce is on the board of directors for Movitas, a mobile technology company focused on the hospitality industry.
- Conditioning for Ice Hockey: Year 'Round (co-authored with Bruce C. Cooper) (1983)
- Stretching for Athletics (1984)
- A Baseball Player's Guide to Sports Medicine (forward by Mike Schmidt) (1997)
- I Feel Great and You Will Too! (co-authored with Bill Lyon) (2000)
- 110% (2001)
- Victory Journal (2002)
- Lead or Get Off the Pot!! (co-authored with Bill Lyon) (2004)
- Do It Now Journal (2004)
- Pirate Soul – A Swashbuckling Journey Through the Golden Age of Pirates (2006)
- My Pop-Pop is a Pirate (2008)
- Blackbeard (2011)
- Pirates of St. Augustine (2011)
- The Pirate Handbook (2011)
- Eltz, David R. (June 2001). "Positively Alive!". Pitt Magazine. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
- "Alumni Times". 16 (2). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. Summer 1984: 11.
- 7,000-calorie diet just wasn't right for Bradley
- "PAT CROCE NET WORTH". celebritynetworth.com. celebritynetworth.com. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
- "Croce steps down as 76ers president". ESPN. July 26, 2001.
- Croce, Pat; Bill Lyon (2000). I Feel Great and You Will Too!. Running Press. ISBN 0-7624-0807-3.
- "Pat Croce: Moving in' Premieres September 13". The Futon critic. January 9, 2004. Retrieved February 23, 2010.
- "Pat Croce Announced as Judge on American Inventor Television Show 2007". InventorSpot.com. Retrieved February 23, 2010.
- Key, Peter (December 18, 2009). "Movitas moves into hospitality". Philadelphia business journal. Retrieved February 23, 2010.
- Donahue, Bill. "Standing Pat", South Jersey Magazine, February 2011. Accessed September 13, 2015. "Pat Croce—karate champion, former Philadelphia 76ers president, motivational icon and our region’s most famous hard body—can still outrun you at age 56. We find out what drives this part-time Ocean City resident to succeed."