Rutgers: Athletic Department Overhaul as Hermann and Flood Fired, Hobbs Named AD
On Sunday, Rutgers University President Dr. Robert Barchi fired Athletic Director Julie Hermann and head football coach Kyle Flood. Barchi calls this movement a “fresh start” as he stated in his letter to the Rutgers Community.
Flood spent four years at the helm of the football program, earning a reputation of being a nice guy, great in the community especially his involvement with Special Olympics New Jersey, but couldn’t win the games when they counted most and recruit/keep the top New Jersey athletes home. In addition to his so-so 27-24 overall record, Flood has taken heat as multiple of his players were arrested, suspended, and dismissed from the team for things such as DWI, assault, robbery, and home invasion. Furthermore, Flood himself was suspended earlier this year for having improper communication contact with a professor regarding one of his players’ grades. All of that combined with numerous on-field blowouts ultimately pushed him out the door after 11 years on the banks (he also spent seven years as the offensive line coach).
Hermann was hired in 2013 after former AD Tim Pernetti resigned during a time of turmoil after the Mike Rice fiasco. Unfortunately, her tenure was full of controversy from the time she started. She was involved in conflicts during her time as the Tennessee volleyball coach and has kept quiet regarding the controversies surrounding the football program here at Rutgers.
In light of the firings, Barchi quickly announced the new permanent AD position to Patrick Hobbs, a dean emeritus of Seton Hall University School of Law and the Pirates’ former interim athletic director from 2010-11. The 55 year-old served on the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation from 2004-14, and chaired the Commission for the last four years of his tenure. Hobbs also has made ways in Trenton. Governor Chris Christie hired Hobbs to help out any wrongdoing after the Bridgegate scandal and help conduct ethics training and improve email polices.
Hobbs said his first priority is to hire the new head football coach. He along with Barchi say the search is already ongoing and will be concluded quickly. During his introductory press conference Monday night, he said what the new coach will have to/need to do/be.
“What they need to be able to do beside recruiting is be able to lead young men,” Hobbs said. “Academics are important to us. Integrity is going to be very important to us. Accountability is going to be important to us. They need to get the fans excited about Rutgers football again. And then ultimately it does come down to wins and losses.”
Fives names to remember who could be the next coach of the Scarlet Knights:
1. Greg Schiano – Former Rutgers head coach and of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Current football TV Analyst.
2. Al Golden – Former Temple and Miami (Florida) head coach. Currently unemployed.
3. Mario Cristobal – Former FIU head coach and current offensive line coach for Alabama under Nick Saban. Turned down Rutgers job in 2012 (ended up hiring/promoting Flood).
4. Matt Rhule – Current head coach of the 10-2 Temple Owls.
5. Bob Diaco – Current Connecticut head coach. Bring strong defensive approach.
For more on these candidates and more, read the Rutgers Coaching Hot Board here.
You can read President Barchi’s letter from Sunday regarding the situation below:
Change in Athletics at Rutgers University–New Brunswick
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 of 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.
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