Today marks a monumental day for Rutgers University. A new regime commences and couldn’t have come at a more important time. Still newcomers to the B1G conference, we’ve unsurprisingly struggled to make a name for ourselves. Julie Hermann is OUT and Pat (I’ll call him Patty) Hobbs is IN. Kyle Flood is OUT and Chris Ash is IN. What a day. Let’s do this thing.
Julie Hermann did a fine job. She was fine. She was okay. She wasn’t bad AD but I don’t think you can say she was a good AD either. Hermann came in at a time of great turmoil and somewhat managed to get the program back on its feet. My biggest issue with her was her reactiveness as opposed to proactiveness. From my perspective, she went about her business as needed but without any flare or enthusiasm. Perhaps if she had a few more years that may have changed, but I saw very little improvement of the Rutgers Athletic Department that can be accredited to Julie Hermann. My fondest memory of her is from a football game when she walked behind the end zone in front of the student section to the sound of thousands of boos and she just kept waving and smiling like she was Miss America. She was dealt a shit hand as would anyone trying to fill in for the beloved Tim Pernitti (miss you Tim), but she didn’t do much to help her cause. The lack of respect she earned for herself was her ticket out. I read that her tenure was “tumultuous” and could not agree more. Thank you for your service, and we won’t see you again.
Patty Hobbs is stepping in with ringing endorsements and support from powerful people all over. He was at the forefront of getting the Prudential Center built and on the map. And from what I understand, when Chris Christie’s bridge scandal unfolded, Hobbs was brought in to essentially clean up the mess and limit the damage. With all of the recent uproar OFF the field with Rutgers in addition to the uninspiring win-loss record, bringing in an esteemed professional with a law background is exactly what this program needs. This guy means business, and at the end of the day this is a business. I’m sure he has a zero tolerance for bullshit and a plan of action ready to launch with our new football coach and the rest of the athletic department. He’s a New Jersey guy in a position with a lot of pressure, and I see no reason not to believe he will flourish at RU. Welcome, Pat. Let’s go right now!
I speak for a lot of people when I say I’m happy to see Kyle Flood go. It was time, and it was probably overdue. Great guy, I’m sure, who the players loved playing for, from what I understand. But if you don’t win games, you’ll be replaced for someone who can. That renders true in any industry. 27-24 just doesn’t cut it and I’m sure Flood will admit to that. 2-15 against teams with a winning record will get anybody fired. This was a business move. He was smack in the middle of controversy all season with player arrests and a suspension of his own. Capped off by an embarrassing season finale collapse, it had to be done, simple as that. It was disappointment after disappointment with Flood and this football program over the last 4 years. See ya never, Kyle.
Without further ado, welcome Chris Ash to the banks of the Raritan, to Hub City, to the Birthplace of College Football. Anyone who’s qualified enough to manage the defense at THE Ohio State University has my stamp of approval to coach my team. Everything I’ve read about him says he’s got a fiery personality and could coach almost anywhere. It also doesn’t hurt that he has ties to Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh. As someone who’s been in a powerful position in the Big Ten before, he knows exactly what it takes to succeed. I don’t think anyone’s expecting him to come in here and take us to a National Championship, but he has the expectation and the pressure of essentially turning this program around and getting RU back on the map. Locking up NJ recruits has been an issue with Rutgers for years, but Ash has the confidence that he can recruit anywhere. Despite him looking like Alexi Lalas and Tom Arnold, I’m all in on Chris Ash (what other choice do I have?). But I do think this was a great hire, and I’m genuinely excited for him to get to work. Welcome to the Rut, Coach Ash. Let’s fuckin do it!
This is the start of the next chapter in Rutgers Athletics. Pat Hobbs and Chris Ash have taken over the driver’s seat of this runaway train. Don’t screw it up!