A New Jersey native with over 20 years of leadership experience in higher education and public service, Patrick Hobbs serves as the Director of Athletics at Rutgers University.
Hobbs joined the Scarlet Knights on Nov. 29, 2015, moving south down the New Jersey Turnpike after notable achievements at Seton Hall University. He served as Dean at the Seton Hall School of Law from 1999 to 2015 and oversaw the Department of Athletics for the Pirates from 2009 to 2011.
"There is no question about the opportunity at Rutgers," Hobbs said at his introductory press conference. "New Jersey is a special place. This is New Jersey's university."
The transformation under Hobbs’ leadership has been significant and unmistakable. Just eight days after his hire, he announced Chris Ash as the 30th head coach in the 146-year history of the football program. Three months later, he tabbed Steve Pikiell as the 19th head coach in Rutgers men’s basketball history. Rutgers was the only power five conference school with both a new head football and men’s basketball coach in 2016-17.
The restructuring of athletics leadership under Hobbs has enhanced the student-athlete experience, elevated communication, improved resource allocation and enriched customer service. Rutgers Athletics appointed its first full-time nutrition staff and welcomed a new Chief Medical Officer, Senior Associate AD for Finance, Administration and Planning, and Senior Associate AD for External Affairs and Strategic Communications.
On July 1, 2017, the partnership between Rutgers Athletics and adidas officially began, designating the Portland-based company as the official athletic footwear, apparel and accessory brand of the Scarlet Knights through the 2023-24 athletic season. Additionally, Rutgers will receive adidas’ product & marketing expertise and the two will collaborate on marketing opportunities and the development and enhancement of the licensed retail landscape on campus.
Rutgers also launched a new ScarletKnights.com to begin the fiscal year, with an emphasis on mobile connectivity and streamlined navigation. The site enables Rutgers fans instant access to gameday information, video content and all things Scarlet Knights.
Perhaps the biggest impact under Hobbs has been the development of capital projects to support student-athletes. On Nov. 1, 2016, Rutgers broke ground on the RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center. The 125,000 square foot facility will serve as a practice center for men's and women's basketball, wrestling and gymnastics. Slated for completion in 2019, the partnership with RWJBarnabas Health will create a comprehensive sports medicine program to serve Rutgers athletes, students and communities throughout New Jersey.
The RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center is one of several facilities to become a reality via “R B1G Build,” a comprehensive campaign to raise $100 million for new or upgraded facilities. “R B1G Build” launched on Jan. 20, 2016 and has raised $72,664,478 from 2,671 donors as of June 20, 2017.
The Fred Hill Training Complex, a $3.25 million project with all funds privately raised, was dedicated on Jan. 31, 2017, and provides a state-of-the-art facility for both baseball and softball to practice year round. The Harriett and Bob Druskin Strength and Conditioning Center, as well as the Abe Suydam men’s basketball locker room, were also both dedicated at the RAC in 2017. In addition, the basketball court at the College Ave Gym, affectionately referred to as “The Barn,” was dedicated in honor of former co-captain and hall of famer Jim Valvano.
The Marco Battaglia Football Practice Facility, an elite $8.5 million complex with all funds privately raised, will be completed in August of 2017 for preseason football camp. High-end practice fields, videoboard, scoreboards, permanent film towers and a state-of-the-art lighting system will provide an ideal training environment while boosting recruiting efforts.
Student-athletes have excelled athletically, academically and in the community under Hobbs’ leadership. In 2016-17, Rutgers was the only Division I school to have its men’s lacrosse (12), wrestling (12) and women’s soccer (25) programs all ranked in final 2016-17 coaches polls. RU also boasted seven All-Americans, three Big Ten champions, 23 All-Big Ten Conference honorees, four Big Ten All-Freshmen selections and one Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Academically, a school-record eight programs earned NCAA recognition by posting multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores in the top 10 percent and thirteen programs either tied or set program records for their multiyear APR rates. A record 115 Scarlet Knights earned Spring Academic All-Big Ten honors to culminate a 2016-17 year in which 204 student-athletes earned all-academic recognition. RU also boasted 72 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars, with cumulative grade point averages of 3.7 or better, for the second consecutive year.
In between their athletic and academic achievements, Rutgers student-athletes made 89 community appearances in 2016-17 and performed 5,108 hours of community service. Rather than take a much-deserved break to begin their summers, nine student-athletes traveled to Honduras with the Rutgers Leadership Academy in June to benefit Soles4Souls, a global not-for-profit dedicated to fighting poverty. Shoes and clothing was distributed in poor and disadvantaged communities via the initiative.
When the 2015-16 season came to a close, the momentum under Hobbs was evident. Rutgers was one of just two universities to have its men’s and women’s soccer, wrestling and men’s lacrosse programs all nationally-ranked. RU student-athletes combined to win 16 Big Ten Players of the Year honors and individual championships. In addition, Scarlet Knights earned 17 All-America and 46 All-Big Ten honors.
Rutgers had 228 student-athletes recognized as Academic All-Big Ten, an increase from 196 in 2014-15. In between their athletic and academic achievements, Rutgers student-athletes performed more than 3,500 hours of community service.
Prior to joining Rutgers, Hobbs also worked for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. In April 2014, he was appointed Ombudsman to the Office of the Governor, serving as a resource for whistle blowers within the Office. He also oversaw ethics training and guidance to the 140 employees in the Office of the Governor.
As the Interim Director of Athletics at Seton Hall, Hobbs assumed supervision of the department and led searches for men's and women's basketball head coaches. He also conducted the search for and hiring of a permanent athletic director and added the sport of women's golf, which earned two Big East titles in the last five years. Another major accomplishment was negotiating a contract with the Prudential Center as a home site for men's basketball games.
Hobbs joined the Seton Hall Law faculty in 1990 with a specialty in tax law; he became Associate Dean for Finance in 1995 and was named Dean in 1999. In his years as Dean, Hobbs shepherded the Law School through a series of groundbreaking initiatives that raised Seton Hall Law to unprecedented prominence. The school was the fastest-rising law school in the U.S. News & World Report ranking over the past decade. One of the highlights includes the Health Law program, which is consistently ranked among the top 10 nationally. Seton Hall Law boasts a faculty that is world-renowned in such diverse areas as intellectual property, social justice, corporate bankruptcy, national security policy and employment law.
Hobbs was influential in fundraising at Seton Hall Law by spearheading the $25 million plus campaign, Seton Hall Law Rising, the school's largest fundraising initiative. Part of the success stemmed from revitalizing alumni support with over 70 percent contributing during the campaign.
During his tenure, Hobbs established several centers of excellence: The Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law & Policy; the Center for Policy and Research; and the Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology. Under his leadership, Seton Hall Law achieved worldwide prominence through a series of groundbreaking initiatives emanating from the school's social justice mission.
Hobbs advocated for the growth of the Seton Hall Law Center for Social Justice, offering clinical programs with students and professors taking on cases addressing predatory lending, domestic violence, international human rights, and education and housing policy reform.
In 2006, Seton Hall became the education partner of the New Jersey Law and Education Empowerment Project (NJ LEEP). The mission of the Project is to introduce economically disadvantaged students from 8th to 12th grade to the legal profession and to strengthen their academic skills. Since the graduation of the first NJ LEEP cohort in 2011, the program has achieved a 100 percent college acceptance rate among its participants, with several admitted to the nation's top-tier universities.
The Garden State product has been dedicated to fostering greater diversity in the legal profession. In 2008, he formed the Dean's Diversity Council, comprising faculty, students, alumni and administration working in concert to enhance the Law School's inclusive environment. In 2012, Professor Hobbs was honored by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund with its Excellence Award for his work on behalf of diversity within the legal profession and for "exemplifying Justice Thurgood Marshall's commitment to justice, civil rights and education."
Hobbs is a former member of the Standards Review Committee of the American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and has twice chaired the Law School Development Committee. He also serves as a member of the boards of the Newark Alliance and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Additionally, he served as a member of the Advisory Board of Lexis-Nexis, the New Jersey Commission of Professionalism and the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education. In 2004, he served as Chair of the Newark, New Jersey Mayor's Blue Ribbon Commission on the Downtown Core Redevelopment, a key initiative driving Newark's resurgence and which led the way for the construction of the Prudential Center entertainment arena.
A member of the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation from 2004-14, Hobbs chaired the Commission for the last four years of his tenure. The independent, bipartisan law enforcement body originally conceived in 1968 as a fact-finding agency whose mission is to expose organized crime, public corruption, and waste and to recommend reforms in the service of the citizens of New Jersey.
Prior to joining Seton Hall Law, Hobbs was a tax attorney with the law firm of Shanley & Fisher in Roseland, N.J. He received his B.A. in accounting, magna cum laude, from Seton Hall University, his J.D. from the University of North Carolina and his LL.M. (in taxation) from New York University.
Hobbs, 57, is the proud father of three children and resides in Basking Ridge, N.J.