PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Julie Hermann's first year as Rutgers athletic directory was a rocky one, but she plans to use it as a learning experience in year two.
Rutgers is now 13 months removed from Hermann's hire to replace Tim Pernetti as athletic director. Hermann found herself in the spotlight for the wrong reasons multiple times in her first year. Moving into her second year, Hermann wants to keep the focus on the Rutgers brand and the student-athlete experience.
"I would say it's been a lightning-quick Rutgers learning curve for me," Hermann said. "We're Rutgers. We do things differently. You get in as an AD and you spend your first year going ‘here's how we roll, here's how this works here on this campus.'
"I look forward to this second year and having a whole lot more information and going forward with that and being able to serve our coaches and our student athletes at an even higher level."
"What I can tell you is I love New Jersey," Hermann said. "It's an incredibly authentic, genuine people. They're direct. I like that they're direct. You don't have to spend time wondering what anyone's thinking, and I think that's great. I look forward to becoming part of the fabric of Rutgers."
Hermann had multiple opportunities to leave Louisville for bigger jobs, but none attracted her like Rutgers. Rutgers accepted Big Ten membership prior to the search for an athletic director.
The chance to lead Rutgers into the Big Ten became a welcome challenge, and significant opportunity.
"It's our intent to be a Big Ten force," Hermann said. "We have a challenge to rise to the calling of the Big Ten. We represent the state of New Jersey. It's a powerful state. It's the most energized population in the United States.
"I think with all of that talent and all of that resource, all that capability, we as the representative kind of have an obligation to step up to the challenge. Nobody in American college sports wants to step anywhere and be oh and something. We know what standards we're setting for ourselves, and we're working to that."