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Former Rutgers athletic director Robert Mulcahy dies at 85

NCAA Womens Basketball: DePaul at Rutgers

Feb 27, 2008; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers University president Richard McCormick, Scarlet Knights head coach C. Vivian Stringer and Rutgers Athletic Directory Robert Mulcahy at the Louis Brown Athletic Center. Rutgers Scarlet Knights defeated the DePaul Blue Demons 60-46 for head coach C. Vivian Stringer’s 800th victory. Mandatory Credit: Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

MORRISTOWN, N.J.- Robert E. Mulcahy, a longtime New Jersey official who served as athletics director for the state’s flagship university and held many high-ranking government posts during his decades of service, has died.

Mulcahy’s family announced his death Tuesday, saying he had passed away Monday after a long illness. He was 85.

Mulcahy served as athletic director for 11 years at Rutgers University and was inducted into the the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. Mulcahy helped the university obtain funding from the state legislature for a massive renovation of its athletic facilities.

Coming off a winless season the year before his arrival, Mulcahy worked steadfastly to improve conditions for the football program. His hire of coach Greg Schiano led to a resurgence in the program, which snapped a nearly 30-year postseason drought in 2005.

“In Bob’s passing, Rutgers and New Jersey lost one of its truly faithful servants,” Schiano said in a written statement. “Personally, I lost a mentor, a role model, and a true friend. The partnership we had at Rutgers was uncommon and something we both valued greatly.”

Mulcahy also held a variety of high-ranking state posts over the years, serving as chief of staff to Gov. Brendan Byrne and spending 19 years as president and CEO of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which oversees the Meadowlands Sports Complex. He also was a former chairman of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2020.