I'm very excited to be writing you from the RAC on my first day on the job.
As I have said publicly, providing the best opportunities for you — our talented and dedicated student-athletes — is my number one priority. I'm certain I echo your coaches in saying that our most important job is to create an environment in which you can excel — both on and off the field of play.
During my interview process, I had the pleasure to meet several of your SAAC leaders, and I could hear the passion and pride in their voices as they spoke about what it means to be a Scarlet Knight. I shared with these student-athletes parts of my vision to expand current services and implement new ones to ensure that you have everything you need to prepare, train and compete at the highest levels.
One of my primary goals as your athletic director is to create a best-in-class student-athlete care system. We are committed to developing programs to support both your athletic and your academic pursuits, which includes establishing procedures to ensure that you can always voice any issues or concerns you might have. Together with our dedicated athletic department staff, we will build the support structure you and your coaches need to make certain you succeed during your time at Rutgers. President Barchi has made it clear this is also one of his highest priorities, and he has assured me of his strong support as the athletic department continues to improve the student-athlete experience at Rutgers.
Though it is built on a well-defined and clearly articulated framework, a great student-care model is flexible and adaptable, and it relies on input from YOU — the student-athletes. To this end, I will be meeting with you and the SAAC leaders to gain your collective insight and to gather your suggestions as we develop our new student-athlete care system.
Another of my goals is to make the most of our extraordinary opportunity to join the prestigious Big Ten Conference. Being a member of the Big Ten will provide exciting new possibilities, not only for Rutgers as an institution, but also for you as a student-athlete. I look forward to conducting a comprehensive strategic review of all aspects of Rutgers Athletics as we prepare to compete against the best in the nation.
I plan to spend my first few weeks on campus connecting with as many people as I can, learning about Rutgers sports and, most importantly, listening. I want to understand the challenges and opportunities we face from as many viewpoints as possible. I've already rolled up my sleeves, and I can't wait to get to work with you, your coaches and the athletic department staff to move Rutgers Athletics forward. We will take the lessons of the past and learn from them. We will take the successes of the past and build on them. And, together, we will take Rutgers to new heights. Our work toward tomorrow begins today.