You have to feel for Kyle Flood a little bit. While the Mike Rice imbroglio caught fire nationally, Flood sat quietly inside inside the Hale Center, looking to build upon his 9-4 debut season. And when athletic director Tim Pernetti ultimately followed Rice out the door, Flood lost an otherwise respected voice inside the athletic department and, most importantly, the boss who hired him.
Pernetti’s replacement was finally hired last week – Julie Hermann, a long-time lieutenant under athletic director Tom Jurich at Big East bunk-mate Louisville. Though it’s never ideal for a coach to work under a boss that wasn’t around when he got the job, especially entering year two of his tenure, Hermann has said the right things so far. Though, with only one week on the job, she’s hardly had the chance to do otherwise.
“My entire focus is on surrounding him [with what he needs] and making sure he doesn’t feel like everything is strapped on his back,” Hermann told ESPN.com. “I think a lot of football coaches feel like the entire athletic department is strapped on their backs, and that’s not fair. So wherever he needs me to focus, that goes to the top of my list.”
A former coach herself, Hermann thinks her experience on the sidelines will help her relate with all whistle-wearers at Rutgers.
“While every sport is very different — that’s one of first things you learn — managing coaches is pretty consistent,” Hermann said. “I’m very thankful to have been a head coach at the Division I level, because that actually helps me speak coach. I would never consider doing this job had I not been a Division I head coach, because I think it’s really easy to say the wrong things to your coaches. I see a lot of guys who played college football, but they never coached it. And I think if you’ve never coached, you set yourself up to not understand what your coaches do for a living. … And that’s what I’ll take to Rutgers for all of my coaches including Kyle Flood, whom I think is fantastic.”
Read Hermann’s full Q&A here.