PISCATAWAY, NJ – In a statement Sunday afternoon, Rutgers President Robert Barchi said he terminated the contracts of both Athletic Director Julie Hermann and Scarlet Knights Football Head Coach Kyle Flood.
"This afternoon, I spoke with Head Football Coach Kyle Flood and met with Director of Athletics Julie Hermann and informed them that I was exercising the university’s right to terminate their contracts without cause and that I am relieving them of their duties effective immediately," Barchi said in a statement to the Rutgers Community. "Kyle Flood has been a loyal and dedicated member of our community for more than a decade and our head football coach for four seasons, during which his teams won 26 games and played in three bowl games. However, 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. I want to thank Kyle for his service to Rutgers and I also wish him and his family well in his next endeavor. Norries Wilson will serve as the Interim Head Coach leading our off-season program until a new head coach is hired."
The decision comes the same day Julie Hermann was asked by Barchi to resign from her post as Athletic Director of a program that has been plagued with a number of serious issues from the start of the 2015 season.
"Julie came to Rutgers in 2013, at a time when the program was in turmoil, with a vision of where she could take our Athletics Program," Barchi's statement said. "I believe, however, at this point, when major changes are being made in our football program, we need a fresh start. Having reached that conclusion this past week, it would not have been fair to Julie, to Rutgers and our student athletes, or to potential football coaching candidates, for her to continue in her role. She is a capable administrator whose dedication and passion for Rutgers never waned and I wish her and her family all the best in the next step in her journey."
The Rutgers football team’s losing season was plagued with distractions from the arrests of numerous players, including several subsequently being dismissed from the team.
And Flood himself served a three-game suspension for discussing a player’s grades with a professor.
Flood’s ouster comes a day after the team lost their final game of the season, ending the year with a losing 4-8 record, the second losing year in the coach’s four-year history with Rutgers.
A 2 pm meeting was scheduled for the Rutgers’ football team on Sunday to make them aware of the decisions, which Barchi said in the statement that he made last week.
"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," Barchi said in the statement. "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. 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. "
Barchi said the search for a new head football coach would begin immediately, led by Hobbs.
"We all believe that Rutgers football can be competitive in the Big Ten Conference and we will find the right coach who can get us to that place," Barchi said. "In the coming days and weeks, you may read and hear rumors, speculation, opinions, and concerns regarding the football search. I ask for your patience and trust, as the leaders of your University help write a new chapter in our history."