Yesterday, we covered a report from Manhattan College that their head coach Jim Duffy was set to be hired by Rutgers. Today, a source confirmed to On The Banks that both Duffy and Phil Cundari will be hired to work under Rutgers head coach Joe Litterio. Cundari has been the pitching coach at Seton Hall for the past 18 years, making this a major acquisition for the Rutgers baseball program.
Update 7/21: Rutgers formally announces hiring of Cundari.
By also adding Duffy, who will work under Litterio, per the source, it signals a major change in how the program has been prioritized by the university in the past. This is in addition to the recent training complex for baseball that was completed this past spring.
Hiring both Duffy and Cundari represents a major commitment to both Rutgers baseball and Litterio. Upgrading the coaching staff is a big investment and highlights even more positive change within the athletic department since Pat Hobbs came on board in December 2015. While he made hires early on in his tenure for both football and men’s basketball, the two most high profile sports in the athletic department, his commitment to all Rutgers sports is now apparent. Hobbs recently hired a new women’s rowing coach and it’s becoming apparent that upgrading the Olympic and non-revenue sports at Rutgers is a major priority for the athletic director. This is refreshing and should be applauded!
While we’ve explored the lack of recruiting budget in the past and the many challenges that Litterio has faced in leading his alma mater, there should be no question moving forward that Hobbs and the university are fully committed to making Rutgers baseball a formidable program once again. The pride Rutgers fans and alums have for the program became clear again this week when one of the best players in school history, Todd Frazier, was traded to the New York Yankees. Many fans of both Rutgers and the Yankees have rejoiced in Frazier returning home. For our full analysis on Frazier now wearing pinstripes and his Rutgers legacy, click here.
More to come on the expected hirings of Duffy and Cundari, as well as what this means for the program, both on and off the field, moving forward. For now, Rutgers fans should rejoice in knowing that the past decades of status quo and doing little to move the athletic department forward is truly old news. With Pat Hobbs leading the way, it truly seems like only a matter of time before major progress is made on the field in many sports.