Pat Croce Speaker Profile
Former President for the Philadelphia 76ers
Pat Croce Biography
Pat Croce was born November 2, 1954 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American entrepreneur, sports team executive and owner, author, and TV personality.
Croce began his career as a physical therapist and was 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 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.
He became president of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team in 1996 as part of a group led by Flyers founder Ed Snider and Comcast Corporation that bought the team. Under their ownership, the Sixers went from last place in 1996 to the NBA Finals in 2001. 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.
Since leaving the 76ers, Croce was a television commentator on The NBA on NBC and was a Tae Kwon Do commentator for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. 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 Pirate Soul 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 is being moved to St Augustine, Florida. The museum opened on December 8, 2010.
Croce also has interests in Island Dogs Bar in Key West and became majority partner in the iconic Green Parrot Bar, also in Key West, in May 2011.
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