Rutgers hired Pernetti as its athletic director Thursday at the meeting of the Board of Governors., in Newark. The school president felt confident in the decision.
"In selecting him, we feel confident in Tim's ability to lead the department that has enjoyed a great deal of success over the past several years," Dr. Richard L. McCormick said. "We were impressed by his commitment to academics and his philosophy about the department's relationship with the greater Rutgers community… In Tim Pernetti, we have a leader who is ready for these challenges."
The athletic department can attribute recent success to football and women's basketball, which have earned national recognition in recent years. Football head coach Greg Schiano has led the Scarlet Knights to four consecutive bowl appearances, while C. Vivian Stringer's 800 career wins speak volumes.
Meanwhile, Pernetti was a rather interesting candidate because of his inexperience. But his background in academia and sports helped earn him the new position.
Pernetti attended Rutgers, earning a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass media in 1993 and a master's in communication in 1995. He played tight end for the football team all four years.
After school, Pernetti worked for ABC Sports from 1994 to 2003, and recently, as the executive vice president at CBS College Sports Network since 2006. In the meantime, Pernetti served as the color commentator of Rutgers football games on the radio.
What Pernetti might lack in fund raising skills or AD expertise, (he's not even 40 yet) he will make up for in accountability. His predecessor, Mulcahy, was fired back in December for lack of accountability.
"This department will be well thought out," he said. "It will be decided upon in a responsible manner."
Pernetti said he looks forward to building relationships between sports and education.
"If we can marry academics and athletics the right way, it will be a great marriage and it will be a gateway for a lot of opportunities for our student-athletes," Pernetti said.
Pernetti also maintains strong ties to the Rutgers community since his days in red and white.
"Over time, my relationship with the university has grown," he said. "I've stayed involved as best I could. My family became a Rutgers family. My kids, they don't have a choice who they are going to root for.
"I'm looking forward to this career because I'm looking forward to bringing my entire family into it."
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