Head coach AD fired: Rutgers Fires Coach AD
Published: November 30, 2015
Head coach AD fired: Rutgers Fires Coach AD, After a losing season and a maelstrom of off-field issues, Rutgers fired both football coach Kyle Flood and athletic director Julie Hermann on Sunday.
Rutgers University president Robert Barchi confirmed the firings in a statement and named Patrick Hobbs – a dean emeritus of Seton Hall University School of Law – as the new AD on a permanent basis. Sources say two familiar names – ex-Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano and former Scarlet Knight assistant Mario Cristobal – are on the shortlist for the coaching job.
Barchi, Hobbs, Ken Schmidt and Greg Brown – CEO of Motorola and chairman of Rutgers’ Board of Governors – will lead the search for a new coach, with Flood’s replacement quite possibly his predecessor. With Brown heavily influencing the search, a source told The Post the top candidate is likely Schiano, whose departure for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers led to Flood’s promotion.
According to a source, Rutgers already offered the job to Schiano, who did not respond to text messages from The Post. However, according to the Daily Targum, Rutgers’ school newspaper, Cristobal, Alabama’s offensive line coach, was offered the job.
On a teleconference with reporters, Hobbs denied that any official offers had been made.
Cristobal – who was a Rutgers assistant from 2001-03 and was considered for the job when Schiano quit – followed six years as Florida International University’s head coach with three more on Nick Saban’s staff. He’s also reportedly a candidate for the vacant job at Miami, where he played and was an assistant from 2004-06.
The coach-search whirlwind was kicked off by a Barchi statement announcing “a day of change” for Rutgers.
“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,” the university president said. “I want to thank Kyle for his service to Rutgers and I also wish him and his family well in his next endeavor.”
On his Twitter page, Flood wrote: “I want to thank the Rutgers community for the opportunity to bea part of their F.A.M.I.L.Y. for the last 11 seasons. … This program has been built on a strong foundation, I have no doubt the best is yet to come.”
As for Hermann, whose tenure at Rutgers has been stained by controversies since Day 1, Barchi indicated wholesale changes were best.
“When major changes are being made in our football program, we need a fresh start,” Barchi said.
According to nj.com, Hermann’s lack of oversight over the football program was the prime reason for her ouster.
The Scarlet Knights football team was embroiled in controversy for much of this season, with Flood being suspended three games and fined $50,000 after a university investigation found him guilty of violating school policy when he sent an email to a professor badgering her about the grades of one of his players.
Flood’s email impropriety dimmed in comparison with the scandal that preceded it, however. Five Rutgers football players were arrested days before the season opened for their alleged roles in a group assault or home invasions. The five soon were dismissed from the team, which went on to a 4-8 season, capped by a meltdown against Maryland on Saturday in a 46-41 loss.
Hermann, hired on May 14, 2013, became the first female AD at the New Jersey school. But her stint began ominously, as reports soon surfaced alleging wrongdoing while she was head volleyball coach at the University of Tennessee in the late 1990s. A 1997 lawsuit accused her of firing an assistant coach for getting pregnant. The assistant was awarded $150,000.
While she was at Rutgers, former volleyball players at Tennessee came forward accusing Hermann of name-calling and bullying while she was a coach at the SEC school.
Still, Rutgers – which turned to her to replace Tim Pernetti, a casualty of the Mike Rice basketball scandal – stuck by Hermann. The school’s patience again was tested soon after, as football player Jevon Tyree quit the team in November 2013, then accused a defensive coach of bullying him. Hermann claimed she had twice spoken with the cornerback’s parents about his concerns.
“That’s ridiculous that she would even say that,” Tyree’s father, Mark Tyree, told nj.com in flat-out a denial. “That’s scary.”
Another abysmal football season on and off the field was the final straw for Barchi, as the search committee will try to do what Hermann could not: Find a winning football coach who will make the right kind of headlines.
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