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“Take action on your passion.” Pat Croce has lived by those words everyday, and in doing so, he’s transformed a losing NBA team to championship finalists, pioneered the industry of sports medicine, learned Japanese, earned his helicopter pilot’s license, opened up a pirate museum, and led a diving expedition that resulted in the recovery of British pirate, Sir Francis Drake’s lost sunken ships.

Pat received both his physical therapist license and athletic training certification, a rare combination in the 1970s. The entrepreneur in him negotiated with his hometown’s NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles, to hire him as the team’s physical therapist; however he was ahead of his time, applying for a position that didn’t exist back then.

When the Eagles’ management gave him the cold shoulder, Pat found other ways to do what he loved, establishing the Sports Physical Therapists, the first non-hospital based sports medicine center in the country, which grew to over 40 locations within ten years.

His continuing development of “personal training” and “physical conditioning” (concepts that did not even have names at the time), attracted the attention of the Philadelphia Flyers Hockey team and the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, both of whom hired Pat to work with their players. Pat’s nutritional and fitness programs for sports stars like Charles Barkley, Mike Schmidt, and Julius Erving, caught fire with ordinary individuals across the country who wanted to follow routines just like their favorite professional athletes.

In 1996 the licensed physical therapist went from the training room to the boardroom with his purchase of the Philadelphia 76ers, which were at that time the worst in the league. Under his presidential decisions and reinvention, the team gradually improved making it all the way to the finals against Los Angeles in the 2000-2001 season breaking record game attendance and merchandise sales along the way.

Pat has since gone on to open two historical museums, author various books, mostly on self-help and pirates, and participate in numerous sportscasts and TV shows due to his high-energy relatable personality. For all that he’s done in life, he’s faced his share of rejection and obstacles, but his “get things done” attitude, focus on the present, and pursuit of his passions continue to help him lead a full life of adventure and achievement.

Full Profile

    Since the 6th grade, when Pat Croce began delivering daily newspapers door-to-door, he has demonstrated a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit. Upon graduation from the University of Pittsburgh in 1977 with a BS in Physical Therapy and certification in Athletic Training, he pioneered the concept of sports medicine. In 1979 he opened the first sports medicine center in the United States with the Haverford Community Hospital Sports Medicine Center. Four years later, he opened Sports Physical Therapists, the first private non-hospital-based sports medicine center in the country. Ten years later, he opened the fortieth center.

    Following the highly profitable sale of Sports Physical Therapists to a public company in 1995, Croce focused his entrepreneurial energy and indestructible positive attitude on the purchase of the NBA’s last-place team, the Philadelphia 76ers. During his 5-year tenure as president and minority owner (1996-2001), the team rose from worst to first in the NBA standings and broke franchise records in attendance, revenue, merchandise, and consecutive wins on the way to the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers in 2001. Croce’s ascension from the training room to the board room, and his remarkable success in the resurrection of the Philadelphia 76ers as a NBA championship contender, inspired NBC Sports’ Chairman Dick Ebersol to call Croce “the architect of one of the NBA’s greatest turnaround stories.”

    The entrepreneurial bug bit again when Croce pursued his passion for pirates by building the world’s first authentic pirate museum – Pirate Soul – in Key West, Florida. The museum has received rave reviews from media and press around the globe. The piratical complex was completed when Croce opened the Rum Barrel restaurant/bar next door. During the fall of 2010, Croce moved his museum up to St. Augustine, FL, the oldest city in the country, and renamed it The St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum.

    Croce has also tackled television in his high-energy roles as a lively commentator on the NBA on NBC; a Tae Kwon Do expert for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Greece; the host of a nationally syndicated daily TV show, Pat Croce: Moving In, syndicated by Sony Pictures Television; and most recently as a panel judge on ABC’s hit show American Inventor.

    Croce has been the proud recipient of the “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award, was a finalist (with Sports Physical Therapists) for the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, and was featured on the cover of Inc magazine as “The Dale Carnegie of the 21st Century.” He continues to thrive as a serial entrepreneur, funding and launching companies in the fields of fitness, healthcare, spirits, technology, retail, real estate and entertainment.


Pat Croce Speaker Videos Back to top

Keynote Speech


Pat humorously takes us through his first solo helicopter flight, in which he mentally swung from overbearing confidence to extreme panic and was ultimately reminded of a lesson his father taught him several years ago.

“There was not even a street view when we took the trial run,” Pat refers to the practice run he did with his instructor immediately before embarking on his own. “What I believed to be the airport runway when I was at the five-mile landmark was instead a huge K-mart parking lot. I was lost. I was lost in space. I misplaced an entire airport.”

After being guided back to the actual airport by air traffic control, Pat reflected on the flight. “I’d been taught at a very early age that opportunity sometimes knocks softly. Well, that horrible helicopter flight was a sledgehammer of a reminder that an opportunity can turn into a nightmare when you don’t listen intently. Listen, listen, listen.”


Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


From reinventing the 76ers to creating and commercializing the field of sports medicine, Pat Croce has learned a lifetime of lessons along the way.

His energy, stories, and intimate style of sharing them motivate people to get out of their chairs and go chase their dreams just as he has. Drawing from his own experiences, Pat illustrates the growth processes we go through so that we can be better prepared to pursue our goals and get the most out of life.

Motivation Mojo

Inc. has called him the “Dale Carnegie of the 21st Century.” Sales & Marketing Management magazine named him the “Best Motivator.” Nationally renowned motivational speaker Croce brings audiences to their feet, motivating them to reach their fullest potential and realize their dreams. Calling on his background in physical therapy and athletic training, and his persistence to land a job in professional sports, Croce encourages his audience to look at their skills and training against their dreams to discover their opportunities. He shares with audiences how to pursue those dreams and what it takes to get where they want to get.

Spinning Plates

Over the course of one day, Croce oversees or is involved in business endeavors, community initiatives, outdoor adventures, personal appearances, and family commitments. He successfully juggles dozens of “plates” by maintaining equal focus on each one, never putting his total focus on just one for a prolonged time period. Croce shares with audiences how he achieves this feat using discipline, organization and high-energy support from family, friends and staff. Audiences will leave equipped with tools for balancing all areas of life to achieve success.

Freakin' Fitness

Croce has always been a fitness enthusiast, even going back to his high school days. In 1980, he became the first physical conditioning coach in the NHL; he later joined the Philadelphia 76ers to provide his physical therapy and conditioning magic there, as well. In many ways, Croce created the concept of personal training before there was a name for it. He also built—and sold—a physical therapy/fitness empire in 11 states in less than 10 years. In this presentation, Croce shares some of his fitness secrets, including his cross-training program that uses a variety of strength, stretching and aerobic techniques, equipment and systems.



Pat Croce Speaker Testimonials Back to top

“You will sense that the learnings Pat shares are really his ‘earnings.’ In other words he earned these lessons, often the hard way. Moreover, he’s so authentic and so in touch with these processes of growth that, at times, you will feel you are overhearing his most intimate conversations.”
Stephen R. Covey, Author, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People

“It is rare that an outside speaker connects so well with the heart and minds of a group. You and Collin Powell are the two best I have had the pleasure of experiencing.”
George Morrow, EVP, Worldwide Sales, Amgen

“You helped us do what we set out to do – energize and motivate our high performance sales team. Your enthusiasm and energy made our afternoon memorable and valuable.”
Chris Rooney, President, AT&T

“Thank you for your outstanding presentation at the recent Ford Customer Service Division meeting in Las Vegas. Your high energy and genuine delivery style certainly resonated with all 650 attendees. I need you in Detroit!”
Randy Ortiz, General Sales Manager, Ford Motor Company

“Your stories are inspiring, your energy is contagious and your key messages are right on target with our core values – to keep striving for the best and working toward achieving ones’ goals, both personally and professionally – no matter what obstacles and challenges lay ahead.”
Paul Bossidy, CEO, GE Capital

“Pat Croce is simply the best speaker we’ve ever had – and we’ve had the biggest names on the circuit – because at the end of the day, his inspirational style makes our people feel great!”
Stephen Stefano, SVP, NeuroHealth Division, GlaxoSmithKline

“Since we work in the world of entertainment, creativity, marketing, selling and programming, it’s often difficult for us to find a speaker who can meet the energy level that our people possess and it’s even harder to really cut through and get the motivated people more motivated. Somehow, you did it! Quite honestly, you were terrific!”
Joel Hollander, President, CBS Radio

“I’d like to thank you for your inspiring presentation. Your unrelenting optimism, “seize the day” mentality and commitment to customer service were just the right messages for our leadership team to hear at this exciting juncture in our company’s history.”
Joe Neubauer, Chairman, Aramark

“Pat Croce is a true inspiration to anyone who has ever had a dream.”
Brian Roberts, CEO, Comcast Corporation




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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“You will sense that the learnings Pat shares are really his ‘earnings.’ In other words he earned these lessons, often the hard way. Moreover, he’s so authentic and so in touch with these processes of growth that, at times, you will feel you are overhearing his most intimate conversations.”
Stephen R. Covey, Author, The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People

“It is rare that an outside speaker connects so well with the heart and minds of a group. You and Collin Powell are the two best I have had the pleasure of experiencing.”
George Morrow, EVP, Worldwide Sales, Amgen

“You helped us do what we set out to do – energize and motivate our high performance sales team. Your enthusiasm and energy made our afternoon memorable and valuable.”
Chris Rooney, President, AT&T

“Thank you for your outstanding presentation at the recent Ford Customer Service Division meeting in Las Vegas. Your high energy and genuine delivery style certainly resonated with all 650 attendees. I need you in Detroit!”
Randy Ortiz, General Sales Manager, Ford Motor Company

“Your stories are inspiring, your energy is contagious and your key messages are right on target with our core values – to keep striving for the best and working toward achieving ones’ goals, both personally and professionally – no matter what obstacles and challenges lay ahead.”
Paul Bossidy, CEO, GE Capital

“Pat Croce is simply the best speaker we’ve ever had – and we’ve had the biggest names on the circuit – because at the end of the day, his inspirational style makes our people feel great!”
Stephen Stefano, SVP, NeuroHealth Division, GlaxoSmithKline

“Since we work in the world of entertainment, creativity, marketing, selling and programming, it’s often difficult for us to find a speaker who can meet the energy level that our people possess and it’s even harder to really cut through and get the motivated people more motivated. Somehow, you did it! Quite honestly, you were terrific!”
Joel Hollander, President, CBS Radio

“I’d like to thank you for your inspiring presentation. Your unrelenting optimism, “seize the day” mentality and commitment to customer service were just the right messages for our leadership team to hear at this exciting juncture in our company’s history.”
Joe Neubauer, Chairman, Aramark

“Pat Croce is a true inspiration to anyone who has ever had a dream.”
Brian Roberts, CEO, Comcast Corporation


I Feel Great and You Will Too!: An Inspiring Journey of Success with Practical Tips on How to Score Big in Life
Passionate, spirited, and brimming with enthusiasm, Pat Croce′s can-do keys to success in business and in life speak volumes about positive achievement. Croce, a former personal trainer who overcame odds and adversity to become president and part owner of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, shares the winning attitude that has helped him realize stunning goals. Learn his secrets to positive advancement, and the ethical values that have helped him steer a course to phenomenal success. Croce faced his biggest challenge recently, when a motorcycle accident almost cost him his leg. His positive outlook on life and his unfailing determination have resulted in a remarkable recovery of this extraordinary man. This compelling, rags-to-riches story distills the inspiring philosophy that Croce shares in his role as one of the country′s top motivational speakers, sought after by Fortune 500 companies and profiled in Success magazine. Bill Lyon is an award-winning Philadelphia Inquirer sports columnist.

Order Here


Lead or Get Off the Pot!: The Seven Secrets of a Self-Made Leader
Each and every one of us -- regardless of our age, position, or station in life -- has the opportunity to take control of, and improve, our lives...and the lives of those around us. In Lead or Get Off the Pot!, the irrepressible count of carpe diem shares his bold vision and unorthodox strategies for developing personal passion, a can-do attitude, and the motivation essential for cultivating leadership skills.

Order Here



Motivation Mojo

Inc. has called him the “Dale Carnegie of the 21st Century.” Sales & Marketing Management magazine named him the “Best Motivator.” Nationally renowned motivational speaker Croce brings audiences to their feet, motivating them to reach their fullest potential and realize their dreams. Calling on his background in physical therapy and athletic training, and his persistence to land a job in professional sports, Croce encourages his audience to look at their skills and training against their dreams to discover their opportunities. He shares with audiences how to pursue those dreams and what it takes to get where they want to get.

Spinning Plates

Over the course of one day, Croce oversees or is involved in business endeavors, community initiatives, outdoor adventures, personal appearances, and family commitments. He successfully juggles dozens of “plates” by maintaining equal focus on each one, never putting his total focus on just one for a prolonged time period. Croce shares with audiences how he achieves this feat using discipline, organization and high-energy support from family, friends and staff. Audiences will leave equipped with tools for balancing all areas of life to achieve success.

Freakin' Fitness

Croce has always been a fitness enthusiast, even going back to his high school days. In 1980, he became the first physical conditioning coach in the NHL; he later joined the Philadelphia 76ers to provide his physical therapy and conditioning magic there, as well. In many ways, Croce created the concept of personal training before there was a name for it. He also built—and sold—a physical therapy/fitness empire in 11 states in less than 10 years. In this presentation, Croce shares some of his fitness secrets, including his cross-training program that uses a variety of strength, stretching and aerobic techniques, equipment and systems.



Keynote Speech


Pat humorously takes us through his first solo helicopter flight, in which he mentally swung from overbearing confidence to extreme panic and was ultimately reminded of a lesson his father taught him several years ago.

“There was not even a street view when we took the trial run,” Pat refers to the practice run he did with his instructor immediately before embarking on his own. “What I believed to be the airport runway when I was at the five-mile landmark was instead a huge K-mart parking lot. I was lost. I was lost in space. I misplaced an entire airport.”

After being guided back to the actual airport by air traffic control, Pat reflected on the flight. “I’d been taught at a very early age that opportunity sometimes knocks softly. Well, that horrible helicopter flight was a sledgehammer of a reminder that an opportunity can turn into a nightmare when you don’t listen intently. Listen, listen, listen.”