During the spring game over two weeks ago, Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs hinted an announcement regarding an update on the R B1G Build campaign was coming soon. Today those updates came, as Hobbs announced the stunning progress made so far at a press conference this morning. Here are the key aspects that we learned regarding the status of the campaign.
29.3 Million Raised + 25M Tax Credit = More Than 1/2 Way There
Incredible. This campaign was announced in late January and for Hobbs and Rutgers to raise this amount in such a short time is remarkable. The tax credit is being counted within the campaign goal of $100 million. The 29.3 million includes pledges and cash. The pledges can be spread over 5 years. Hobbs went into detail about explaining how a potential donor can plan to save small amounts to spread over that period.
Multi-Sport Practice Facility 90% Of Donations
This facility is intended for the men's & women's basketball, wrestling and gymnastics. They are in the design phase, with engineering work scheduled to begin this summer. Construction contracts will go out to bid soon after.
Both new Rutgers men's basketball coach Steve Pikiell and associate head coach Karl Hobbs each said in recent interviews that the groundbreaking was happening sometime this summer. However, while Hobbs indicated they aren't quite there yet, the "train is rolling along the tracks"! Rutgers FINALLY is putting a real investment into supporting our athletic programs to be successful on the field. It shouldn't seem so extraordinary, but Hobbs has already accomplished more in a few months than four other athletic directors accomplished in three decades.
Pat Hobbs: "A high school basketball recruit now will practice in that facility." Seems about 3 years away (1 for design, 2 for building).— Jerry Carino (@NJHoopsHaven) May 10, 2016
Financial Support Led By A Few
It should be no surprise that Board of Governors Chairman Greg Brown and his wife Anna are big contributors. It was a bit of a surprise to hear that former Kyle Flood supporters Jeff & Amy Towers are also major donors. That is another example of Hobbs ability to mend and build relationships. Here are his comments regarding the major donors for this campaign:
"This generous support will help meet critical needs for our student-athletes to successfully compete in the nation’s premier academic and athletic conference," said Rutgers Director of Athletics Patrick Hobbs. "We are very grateful to all those who have contributed, especially Greg and Anna Brown, Steven Plofker and Bobbi Brown and Jeff and Amy Towers for their unwavering belief in our mission. Having supporters who not only understand what it takes to compete on an elite level, but provide the resources to help lead us there, is integral to our success. They also hope that their support will inspire others to reach at this critical time."
Thank you to all of them!!!! A full link with quotes from each of three sets of big donors is here.
Change To The Plan
One change has been a 30% increase to the strength and conditioning center within the multi-sport practice facility. Hobbs cited recent hire David Van Dyke, who is the assistant athletic director for strength and conditioning, as the driving force behind the tweak to the plan. It's important that Hobbs is listening to key people within the department that know what is needed for the development of the facilities to fully serve Rutgers athletes best. Van Dyke recently oversaw a 10,000 square foot facility at Stony Brook, so he is well versed in this process.
Today Marks A New Rutgers
Hobbs has aligned Rutgers to succeed in ways never seen on the banks since his arrival less than six months ago. He stressed the importance of getting things done the right way and how they will take their time to ensure that the plan is executed correctly. Today signals that the vision and work of many at Rutgers is close to becoming a reality. He did single out senior associate athletic director Sarah Baumgartner and her team as the driving force for donations. Hobbs stressed how important these facilities are in terms of the long term success of Rutgers athletics within the Big Ten. To be this far along in such a short time period is historic, in terms of how things traditionally get done at Rutgers. President Barchi started this change, hiring Hobbs without a committee and out of the public eye. Hobbs has continued this method in his hiring's of Chris Ash as the football head coach and Steve Pikiell as the men's basketball head coach. The facilities R becoming a reality and with as little red tape as possible! It is truly a great day be a Scarlet Knight! In Hobbs We Trust!