An Open Letter to the Rutgers Community

Here is a synopsis of my career, my life-long following of Rutgers, and what you can expect in the coming days, months and years from This will truly be the best job of my life, and I hope all of you, and your friends, join the fray.

My wife and I decided to induce labor so I could be present for the birth of our first child, and still attend Rutgers' first bowl game in 27 years.

I sat in the upper deck at Giants Stadium and watched the Scarlet Knights nearly upset No. 1 Alabama in 1980, and a week later sat on a soaked wooden bench at Rutgers Stadium during a rain storm for a humiliating loss to William & Mary.

When the Scarlet Knights played basketball at the Barn, our family gathered around the television to watch the New Jersey Network telecasts.

I am a Rutgers Class of '92 graduate, a lifelong Scarlet Knights fan and the new publisher for the Rutgers website, I spent the 18 years as a hard-hitting, news-breaking professional newspaper journalist, the last decade of which I covered the Dodgers and then UCLA for the Los Angeles Daily News.

I have won writing awards and I believe built a reputation as an accurate, hard-working reporter, and now I am combining two enormous passions – Rutgers and writing -- to bring you unprecedented coverage of the Scarlet Knights.

As I take you further inside the program than you have ever been, will give you:

-- Loads of recruiting news
-- Breaking news
-- Daily reports from practice
-- In-depth coverage of games
-- Analysis of games and insight into the program
-- Features enabling you to get to know the players and coaches
-- Coverage of press conferences
-- Video interviews and highlights
-- Audio interviews

I grew up kicking field goals on the lightweight fields prior to home football games. How Greg Schiano transformed the football program is stunning, yet something I always believed was possible. My first paying journalism job was at The Trentonian, and I dabbled in covering the Scarlet Knights in the mid 1990s.

As I traveled the state covering other events, my Rutgers pride always oozed out, and I noticed everywhere I went, from Cape May County to Sussex County, from the Jersey Shore to the Delaware Water Gap, everyone knew what was going on with Rutgers athletics.

I lived in Los Angeles since 1998, but remained ever-faithful to the program. I made sure to attend at least one game a season, including a trip to Cal and a roadie to Notre Dame Stadium. How much do I love Rutgers?

I sat in my mother-in-law's basement in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and listened via a choppy internet feed as Rutgers lost 80-7 at West Virginia. And, yes, I listened to the whole game.

My basketball roots go back to coach Tom Young, when games were on New Jersey Network and paint chips used to fall from the Barn's ceiling when the crowd was raucous.

When the Scarlet Knights moved to the RAC, I had season tickets in section 118, where my family still sits. I remember serenading West Virginia fans with "Take them home, to the place they belong, West Virginia, mountain mamma, take them home,'' and spending days at the Palestra for the Atlantic 10 tournament.

When the Scarlet Knights reached the NIT Final Four, I found my way East for the games. I was among the thousands boarding the train on the edge of campus for the trip to Madison Square Garden for the games.

I know the men's basketball program is not up to snuff. I often talked with UCLA coach Ben Howland about the RAC, and its fans, and he always maintained (much to the disbelief of some of my West Coast-bred colleagues) it was one of the toughest places in the nation to play. But it has not translated into a strong program, or even an average one.

The men's program must get better, beginning with recruiting, and I will bring you inside the program as coach Fred Hill attempts to make the RAC rock again.

I covered UCLA the last six years, and I also spent two seasons covering the University of Connecticut men's basketball program at the New Haven Register. Sandwiched between those assignments I spent nearly five years traveling the country while covering the Dodgers, so I bring high-profile and high-pressure journalism experience into this endeavor.

I am a Rutgers fan, but I will bring objectivity. My eyes will be critical when it calls for it, and celebratory when earned. But my work will always be objective and meaningful.

I also want to get you, the die-hard fans, involved. Tell me what you like, what you don't like, and what needs to improve. Email me at any time and tell me what is on your mind. This will be a ground-breaking comprehensive Rutgers site, and I am thrilled to begin this journey. I invite you to join me. Thank you.

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