SBD/May 16, 2013/Colleges

Rutgers Hires Louisville's Hermann As New AD; Only Fourth Female AD In FBS

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Hermann will lead Rutgers' move to the Big Ten for the '14-15 school year
Former Univ. of Louisville Exec Senior Associate AD Julie Hermann yesterday was introduced as Rutgers Univ.'s new AD, with RU President Robert Barchi praising her "experience, vision and commitment," according to the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Barchi called Hermann a "proven fundraiser" at UL, adding she was "instrumental" in guiding the school's moves from Conference USA to the Big East and from the Big East to the ACC. Hermann becomes only the fourth woman to be an AD at an FBS school, joining N.C. State's Debbie Yow, Cal's Sandy Barbour and Western Michigan's Kathy Beauregard. Hermann said of the recent scandal that led to the firing of men's basketball coach Mike Rice and the resignation of former AD Tim Pernetti, "We need to be an open book. It is a new day. It is fixed. ... That will never happen again on this prestigious campus" (NJ.com, 5/15). Hermann will be paid $450,000 annually as a base salary with $50,000 in incentives and $35,000 contributed to a "deferred compensation plan" (AP, 5/15). In N.Y., Steve Eder writes Hermann's task is "not only managing the move to the Big Ten, but also repairing the image of the university’s athletic department and winning back supporters angered by the basketball scandal." Hermann: "We will no longer have any practice anywhere, anytime that anybody couldn’t walk into and be pleased about what is going on in that environment" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/16). In Newark, Steve Politi writes Hermann will have to "prove that she was more than just a good No. 2." She will have to "show that an administrator with limited experience dealing with revenue sports can not only make Rutgers a winner in the Big Ten, but overcome an atmosphere among alumni and fans that, in a word, has gotten ugly." She was "not a popular choice among many of the high-profile boosters who wanted somebody with experience leading a Division 1 football program" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 5/16).

HISTORIC HIRE: In Newark, Tom Luicci notes RU insisted the hire "had nothing to do with gender," but rather "qualifications, with 16 years spent as a college administrator." RU alumna, Morgan Stanley Senior VP and AD selection committee co-Chair Kate Sweeney said, "Yes, it's turning out to be historic. But the fact is she's the best candidate. She has the whole package." Rutgers women's tennis coach Ben Bucca said, "When she met with the coaches, I thought she expressed a really strong vision, and I got the sense of a natural, positive spirit. When I walked out of there I said ‘That’s an athletic director for all sports.'" Hermann: "We will do more with less. And that's exactly what we did at Louisville" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 5/16). ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson wrote the hire "signals a bold move for Rutgers." When asked whether he thought this might open more doors for women to become ADs, Louisville AD Tom Jurich said, "I sure hope so. I don’t know how many women have gone for those jobs, but I know she’s definitely ready. She’s going to do a great job at Rutgers. They’ve got an incredible asset who was my right-hand for 15 years. She was more than an employee, she was a very close friend and I’m going to miss her dearly. But I couldn’t be happier for her" (ESPN.com, 5/15). In New Jersey, Tara Sullivan notes Hermann "insisted her résumé is more than qualified to move Rutgers forward." Hermann "managed to defend herself without being defensive, a skill she no doubt will need for the duration" of her time at Rutgers. She "backed away from nothing" yesterday (Bergen RECORD, 5/16).

DRESSED TO IMPRESS: The Bergen Record's Sullivan said Hermann impressed Rutgers with her "personal skills." Sullivan: "She really impressed not only the coaches she met, but the other administrators and the people involved in the search committee. There's a lot to be said for Rutgers right now sort of going out of the box, being a little ground-breaking and getting a woman in this very high-profile premiere position." ESPN's Andy Katz said, "Getting her from a program right now that is one of the best in the country. ... Rutgers needed something where they could point to the credibility aspect going into the Big Ten because there's a lot of work to do before they make that move next year" ("Outside The Lines," ESPN, 5/15). The Newark STAR-LEDGER's Politi wrote Hermann has a "compelling back story that should bring positive attention." But Rutgers also is "hiring an administrator with no background leading the key revenue sports as it makes its difficult transition into the Big Ten" in '14. Politi posed 10 questions Hermann would face upon taking the position (NJ.com, 5/15). The STAR-LEDGER's Luicci noted Hermann's to-do list includes "improving morale in the athletic department" and to "pick up where Pernetti left off with planned improvements to the Rutgers Athletic Center" (NJ.com, 5/15). CBS Sports Network’s Allie LaForce said Hermann is an “incredible hire.” The net’s Doug Gottlieb added, “Incredible hire and she’s a very well respected part of Louisville’s program. Now, she’ll be with Rutgers and it’s a very difficult job" (“Lead Off,” CBS Sports Network, 5/15).

FLY ON THE WALL: The AP's J.P. Pelzman noted Hermann was "selected from a pool of 63 candidates following a national search." The "other finalist" was Univ. of Wisconsin Deputy AD Sean Frazier. Rutgers AD selection committee co-Chair and Rutgers Exec VP/Academic Affairs Richard Edwards "disputed a report that the executive athletic committee was deadlocked between Hermann and Frazier." Edwards said, "There was a report in the paper that there was a 3-3 vote. We didn’t even take a vote. We were charged by the president to come up with a final slate of candidates that were acceptable and that would be outstanding candidates" (AP, 5/15).
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