By Donald Gilpin | Photos by Ben Solomon/Rutgers Athletics
Rutgers is embarking on its fifth year in the Big Ten Conference, and Athletic Director Pat Hobbs, in his third season with the Scarlet Knights, has a clearly defined goal in sight: the creation of a championship culture. Hobbs refers to his “five-year turnaround plan,” which he adopted when he arrived in November 2015, and he looks forward to exciting developments on the field, in the classroom, and in the institution as a whole as Rutgers’ impact on the Big Ten and the Big Ten’s impact on Rutgers continue to grow in the coming years. “One of the reasons I was attracted to the job was because Rutgers is now part of the Big Ten Conference,” says Hobbs, who had previously served as law school dean and athletic director at Seton Hall University.
The challenges are formidable, and the past two and a half years, on the field and off, have been difficult. In addition to overall winning percentages at just around .250 (about three losses for each win) in conference play since 2014, Hobbs also inherited a program afflicted by various scandals entangling two previous athletic directors, football players dismissed from the team for alleged criminal conduct, a suspended head coach, and more.