Hobbs receives extension, will serve as AD at Rutgers through 2028

Athletic Director Pat Hobbs, left, and Gov. Phil Murphy flank Greg Schiano at the event.

Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs has signed a contract extension with the school that will keep him on the job through 2028, the school announced Friday.

Contract terms were not disclosed, but New Jersey Advance Media reported that Hobbs will be paid no less than $635,000 (it will be adjusted to the median amount of his peers in the Big Ten, if needed) and includes a bonus of up to $200,000 if certain athletic and academic goals are met.

The extension, approved by the board of governors on Friday, includes a six-month notice of termination or nonrenewal requirement beginning Jan. 1, 2028.

Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway, a strong supporter of athletics, said the extension shows that the school feels Hobbs has brought important and necessary changes to Rutgers Athletics and has helped build competitive programs in the Big Ten, and attracted coaches who have led programs focused on academic achievement and athletic prowess.

“Pat has been enormously successful in developing a program that is as solid in the classroom as it is on the field,” Holloway said. “The board’s decision to extend his contract reflects the confidence we have in his commitment to excellence at every level.”

Hobbs said he was grateful.

“I want to thank President Holloway, the board of governors and the board of trustees,” he said. “Our coaches, student-athletes and staff are dedicated, hardworking and passionate about being Scarlet Knights.

“I consider myself fortunate to serve as athletic director at a great university, with a team that is committed to the pursuit of excellence, and I look forward to continuing to join them in writing the greatest chapter in Rutgers history. What they have been able to achieve over the past six years personifies Jersey grit. Rutgers has the biggest upside of any program in the country, and I wouldn’t want to do this anywhere else.”

Hobbs has helped the school do well on the business side of the equation.

The development of capital projects to support student-athletes is at the forefront of Hobbs’ charge to further the mission of the only Power Five conference program located in the nation’s largest media market.

The Gary and Barbara Rodkin Academic Success Center made its grand opening and serves as home to all student-athletes for their academic pursuits. The state-of-the-art facility provides a range of resources, including academic advising, learning specialists, one-on-one and group tutoring, and houses the locker room areas for the men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse programs, and the Athletic Department administration.

The “Rodkin” follows the RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center, which opened to the delight of the gymnastics, wrestling and men’s and women’s basketball programs. In addition to providing world-class practice facilities, training areas, locker rooms and office spaces for those programs, the center also represents a partnership between Rutgers and RWJBarnabas Health to create a comprehensive sports medicine program to serve Rutgers athletes, students and communities throughout New Jersey.

Much of the capital project success can be credited to “R B1G Build,” a comprehensive campaign launched on Jan. 20, 2016, to raise $100 million for new or upgraded facilities.

With his leadership, Hobbs has directed the construction of the Brown Family Football Locker Room, the Marco Battaglia Football Practice Complex, the Fred Hill Training Complex, the Garutti Strength and Conditioning Center, the Druskin Strength and Conditioning Center and the Abe Suydam Men’s Basketball Locker Room. Additional facility improvements have extended to new playing surfaces at Bainton Field and the Rutgers Softball Complex, as well as new locker room areas for softball, field hockey, cross country and track and field.

In 2019, Hobbs landed a multiyear partnership with SHI International Corp., making the information technology solutions provider the official naming rights partner of Rutgers Stadium. The collaboration with the Somerset-based company has driven significant benefits for Rutgers Athletics.

Hobbs also secured the landmark agreement with Jersey Mike’s Subs to become the official naming rights partner of Rutgers Athletics and the newly named Jersey Mike’s Arena. The partnership between Rutgers and Jersey Mike’s pairs two homegrown New Jersey brands, both on a path of tremendous growth and success over the past several years.

The Scarlet Knights are enjoying their most accomplished period in Rutgers Athletics history, marked by Big Ten championships and postseason play. The 2021-22 season has been one of firsts, highlighted by the first Big Ten regular season championship earned by women’s soccer and first Big Ten Tournament Championship captured by field hockey. Women’s soccer completed a 10-0 undefeated conference schedule to advance to the NCAA Tournament Semifinals, while field hockey earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Football, under the direction of head coach Greg Schiano, who returned to Rutgers in 2019, advanced to a bowl game for the first time since 2014. The Scarlet Knights earned a bid to the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, the nation’s sixth-oldest game, thanks to a top-ranked academic progress rate score.

Men’s basketball became the first unranked team in college basketball history to win four straight games over ranked opponents. Wrestling sent seven student-athletes to nationals, the most NCAA qualifiers since 2017, as Sebastian Rivera became the fourth Scarlet Knight in program history to secure a Top 3 finish at nationals.

Gymnastics sent three Scarlet Knights to the NCAA Regionals and the team earned its first ranking since the 2014 season. Belle Huang and Hannah Joyner became the first gymnasts in Rutgers history to earn three All-Big Ten selections. Swimming and diving earned its highest Big Ten Championship finish and rowing entered the 2022 campaign ranked for the fourth consecutive season.

Nine teams have been ranked during the 2021-22 season, the most programs in Rutgers history ranked in the same competitive season, including the baseball program, which earned its first ranking since 2010.