Rutgers President Robert Barchi has named Patrick Hobbs as the permanent athletic director in a statement this afternoon. This comes just several hours after Barchi dismissed former athletic director Julie Hermann and head football coach Kyle Flood.
Hobbs was the Dean of Seton Hall Law School since 1999 and stepped down in 2014 to become an ombudsman for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Hobbs served as interim athletic director at Seton Hall in 2010-2011, ultimately replacing men's basketball coach Bobby Gonzalez and women's basketball coach Phyliss Mangina. He hired Kevin Willard as the new men's basketball coach, who is currently in his sixth season as head coach and has a record of 83-80.
Give credit to President Barchi for having a plan and executing it in swift fashion today. With a new AD already in place, the search for a new football head coach is underway. Barchi has proven he has learned from previous missteps and has used his authority to reset the direction of the Rutgers athletic department.
Here is Barchi's full statement, including his comments on the dismissals of Julie Hermann and Kyle Flood:
To the Rutgers Community:
Today is a day of change for our Department of Athletics.
This afternoon, I spoke with Head Football Coach Kyle Flood and met with Director of Athletics Julie Hermann and informed them that I was exercising the university's right to terminate their contracts without cause and that I am relieving them of their duties effective immediately.
Kyle Flood has been a loyal and dedicated member of our community for more than a decade and our head football coach for four seasons, during which his teams won 26 games and played in three bowl games.
However, our continued struggles on the field combined with several off the field issues have convinced me that we need new leadership of our football program. I want to thank Kyle for his service to Rutgers and I also wish him and his family well in his next endeavor.
Norries Wilson will serve as the Interim Head Coach leading our off-season program until a new head coach is hired.
Julie came to Rutgers in 2013, at a time when the program was in turmoil, with a vision at where she could take our Athletics Program. I believe, however, at this point, when major changes are being made in our football program, we need a fresh start. Having reached that conclusion this past week, it would not have been fair to Julie, to Rutgers and our student athletes, or to potential football coaching candidates, for her to continue in her role.
She is a capable administrator whose dedication and passion for Rutgers never waned and I wish her and her family all the best in the next step in her journey.
When I made the decision last week that we needed a change in leadership, I set out to find an interim Director of Athletics who could stabilize the Department before launching a national search. On a strong referral, I met with Patrick Hobbs, Dean Emeritus of the Seton Hall University School of Law, who previously led the athletics program at Seton Hall University during a period of major change.
In addition to these assignments, Pat has served on various state legal and ethics boards and commissions and most recently was appointed by Governor Christie to serve as an independent ethics ombudsman to the Office of the Governor.
In my meetings and conversations with Pat, and also with Board Members Greg Brown and Ken Schmidt, it was clear to all of us that Pat had the attributes required for our next Director of Athletics. We offered Pat the permanent job on Friday and we are proud to welcome him as our new Director of Athletics.
The search for a new Head Football Coach will begin immediately and will be led by Pat Hobbs, with input from Greg Brown, Ken Schmidt, and me. We all believe that Rutgers football can be competitive in the Big Ten Conference and we will find the right coach who can get us to that place.
In the coming days and weeks, you may read and hear rumors, speculation, opinions and concerns, regarding the football search. I ask for your patience and trust, as the leaders of your University help write a new chapter in our history.
We thank Julie and Kyle for their service to Rutgers and I thank all of you for your continued support of this great institution and I know you join me in welcoming Pat Hobbs to our family.