The chair in Julie Hermann‘s office hasn’t even cooled yet, but Rutgers has already found her replacement.
The Scarlet Knights have hired Seton Hall emeritus dean of law Patrick Hobbs as its new full-time athletics director. Hobbs served as the Pirates’ interim AD in 2010-11 but has no athletics experience outside of that.
He does, however, have significant experience managing scandal-ridden institutions.
In the same letter announcing the firings of Hermann and head football coach Kyle Flood, Rutgers president Robert Barchi detailed Hobbs’s hiring.
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.
Hobbs left his full-time post at Seton Hall in 2014 to serve as the ombudsman to New Jersey governor Chris Christie‘s office in the wake of the George Washington Bridge scandal, where his job was to police the ethics and policies among Christie’s staff members. In addition to that, Hobbs served on the New Jersey Commission of Investigation from 2004-14, chairing the commission the final four years.
Hobbs joined Seton Hall’s law faculty and was named dean of law in 1999.
Hobbs arrives at an athletics department plagued with scandal and dysfunction. He’ll have to replace a football coach fired in part for attempting to violate the church-state relationship between football and academics in an attempt to influence a players’ grade. Hermann, a storm of controversy in her own right, was hired after the school cleaned house when it was discovered men’s basketball coach Mike Rice was abusing players, and his replacement Eddie Jordan came under fire for not owning a college degree.
And, by the way, Rutgers has won just six of 34 football and men’s basketball games in Big Ten play.