Big Ten

Rutgers president explains Flood's firing, announces Hermann's replacement

rutgers-helmet-1129.png

Rutgers president explains Flood's firing, announces Hermann's replacement

Rutgers University president Robert Barchi officially announced the firings of head football coach Kyle Flood and athletics director Julie Hermann on Sunday in a letter to the university community.

In the letter — published by NJ.com — Barchi offered praise for both but said it was time to make a change.

"Kyle Flood has been a loyal and dedicated member of our community for more than a decade and our head football coach for four seasons, during which his teams won 26 games and played in three bowl games," Barchi wrote. "However, our continued struggles on the field combined with several off-the-field issues have convinced me that we need new leadership of our football program. I want to thank Kyle for his service to Rutgers and I also wish him and his family well in his next endeavor.

"Julie came to Rutgers in 2013, at a time when the program was in turmoil, with a vision at where she could take our athletics program," Barchi wrote. "I believe, however, at this point, when major changes are being made in our football program, we need a fresh start. Having reached that conclusion this past week, it would not have been fair to Julie, to Rutgers and our student athletes, or to potential football coaching candidates, for her to continue in her role. She is a capable administrator whose dedication and passion for Rutgers never waned, and I wish her and her family all the best in the next step in her journey."

[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Rutgers gear right here]

Barchi also used the letter to announce Hermann's replacement, Patrick Hobbs. Hobbs is the dean of the law school at Seton Hall University and previously served as interim athletics director there.

Interestingly, Barchi described the process of bringing Hobbs aboard, explaining that he reached out to him to be the interim athletics director at Rutgers before deciding that he should serve in a permanent capacity. That decision, per Barchi, came Friday, a day before Flood's final game at Rutgers and two days before Hermann was actually fired.

Hobbs will lead the search for the next head football coach.

"The search for a new head football coach will begin immediately and will be led by Pat Hobbs, with input from Greg Brown, Ken Schmidt and me," Barchi wrote. "We all believe that Rutgers football can be competitive in the Big Ten Conference, and we will find the right coach who can get us to that place. In the coming days and weeks, you may read and hear rumors, speculation, opinions and concerns, regarding the football search. I ask for your patience and trust, as the leaders of your university help write a new chapter in our history."

Flood was fired after four seasons, posting a 27-24 record and just completing his first sub-.500 regular season at 4-8. He led the Knights to three bowl games, but his team was plagued by off-field headlines this season, including multiple players getting arrested and an academic scandal involving Flood knowingly violating university rules in attempting to influence a player's grade, something that earned the coach a three-game suspension.

Hermann's tenure didn't even last three years and was dominated by repeated public-relations blunders. She didn't hire either Flood or men's basketball coach Eddie Jordan.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

anderson.jpg
USA TODAY

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.