Associate Athletic Director / Director of Athletic Development

New Brunswick
New Jersey

Overview

The Rutgers University Foundation’s Athletic Development Team seeks an ambitious, dynamic and collaborative leader to serve as its next Associate Athletic Director / Director of Athletic Development (herein “Director”). The Director reports to the Senior Associate Athletic Director/Associate Vice President for Athletic Development and will be a part of a 12-person development operation. As a member of the Big Ten, on the back end of a $100M campaign along with R Big Ten Build campaign underway, s/he will have the opportunity to build the tremendous momentum that has the Rutgers’ campus buzzing with energy. The Director will lead a team of two frontline major gifts fundraisers, manage a portfolio of donors with the capacity to give 6- and 7- figure major gifts and strategize with senior leadership on the strategic vision and priorities of athletic development. The successful candidate will join the team during a pivotal time for Rutgers University Athletics and be impactful in making Rutgers Athletics a force in the Big Ten conference.

The ideal candidate will have a track record of individual fundraising success with 5-, 6- and 7 figure gifts and passion for collegiate athletics and athletic fundraising. With seven or more years of major gifts experience, s/he will be prepared to work with athletic development leadership, engage with and solicit both current and new high potential donors while leading and managing a team that is dedicated, ambitious and welcomes a challenge. S/he will be capable of demonstrating an ability to be flexible and strategic, along with the ability to communicate with and motivate those around them.

Rutgers University Athletics & R Big Ten Build Campaign

Rutgers University Athletics has a storied history that began way back in 1869, when the first game of intercollegiate football was played between Rutgers and Princeton, which Rutgers won 6-4. Since then, athletics at Rutgers has evolved into a Division 1 school in the highly competitive Big 10 conference with 24 athletic programs and over 600 student athletes from across the country. Several programs including basketball, football, soccer, wrestling, baseball and most recently lacrosse have achieved top 15 nationally ranked status at some point over the past 20 years.

Rutgers is committed to building championship contenders in the Big Ten. This commitment means the university must build premier training facilities for elite student-athletes from New Jersey, the nation, and around the globe. To fulfill this objective, Rutgers Athletics is embarking on the Big Ten Build, a targeted campaign to raise $100 million for new or upgraded athletic facilities.

Phase I of R Big Ten Build, created in collaboration with the University Physical Master Plan, includes three projects: a Multisport Training Complex (RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center), adjacent to the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC), a Lacrosse and Soccer Training Complex, and an enhanced Football Training Complex, at the Hale Center. These pivotal projects will result in additional square feet of critical training space and will have a dramatic and wide-ranging impact on all 24 Rutgers athletic programs and on the 600 student-athletes who represent Rutgers on a national stage.

R Big Ten Build will provide state-of-the-art practice centers for football, men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, and gymnastics, as well as key support areas for men’s and women’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s soccer. These facilities will meet a crucial need for high-performance training, exceptional academic support, first-class sports medicine, and critical shared pathways that will support a championship culture at Rutgers.

Rutgers Athletics’ core mission is to graduate student-athletes. To that end, the vacated space in the RAC will become a much-needed expanded academic center and gathering space for all 14 sports that train on the Livingston Campus.

As the newest member of the Big Ten, Rutgers has gained unparalleled exposure. The university’s ascent to national prominence will depend on your key support of this game-changing plan.

More information on the Big Ten Build Campaign can be found at http://www.rutgersbigtenbuild.com

 

Athletic Director Patrick Hobbs

A New Jersey native with over 20 years of leadership experience in higher education and public service, Patrick Hobbs serves as the Director of Athletics at Rutgers University.  

Hobbs joined the Scarlet Knights on Nov. 29, 2015. During his time at Rutgers, Hobbs restructured Athletics leadership to enhance communication, improve resource allocation and to enrich customer service and the game day experience. This new leadership is charged with developing a comprehensive strategic plan that will communicate a defined vision for Rutgers Athletics. He served as Dean at the Seton Hall School of Law from 1999 to 2015 and oversaw the Department of Athletics for the Seton Hall Pirates from 2009 to 2011

As the Interim Director of Athletics at Seton Hall, Hobbs assumed supervision of the department and led searches for men's and women's basketball head coaches. He also conducted the search for and hiring of a permanent athletic director and added the sport of women's golf, which earned two Big East titles in the last five years. Another major accomplishment was negotiating a contract with the Prudential Center as a home site for men's basketball games.

Hobbs was influential in fundraising at Seton Hall Law by spearheading the $25 million plus campaign, Seton Hall Law Rising, the school's largest fundraising initiative. Part of the success stemmed from revitalizing alumni support with over 70 percent contributing during the campaign.

During his tenure, Hobbs established several centers of excellence: The Center for Health & Pharmaceutical Law & Policy; the Center for Policy and Research; and the Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology. Under his leadership, Seton Hall Law achieved worldwide prominence through a series of groundbreaking initiatives emanating from the school's social justice mission.

 

Associate Vice President for Athletic Development Richard Knupp

Previously an Associate Athletic Director, Knupp was promoted to his current position in September 2016.

In his current role, Knupp leads the athletic development efforts, including oversight of the day to day operations of the department as well as executing strategy on capital and annual fund campaigns.

Knupp’s responsibilities include developing strategy and oversight of “R B1G Build” campaign, a target campaign to raise $100 million for new or upgraded athletic facilities.  The initiative, which has raised more than $72 million from 2,200 donors as of April 2017, has received 14 donations of more than $1 million, including the three largest gifts in Rutgers Athletics history, which combined to exceed $11 million.

Knupp has consistently exceeded his annual major gift fundraising goals, raising significant support for scholarships, facility projects, coaching salaries, and other operational support. Major projects overseen in his tenure include developing the premium seating pricing model at Rutgers, initiating the first-ever letter winners association, Varsity R, and leading a critical fundraising campaign to renovate the Hale Center lobby, hallways, tunnel, and equipment room.

Prior to Rutgers, Knupp was employed by Lehigh University as the Director of the Lehigh Athletics Partnership. He managed the overall fundraising efforts for the Athletic Partnership and led a team of five staff members that generated over $2.1 million in annual support. Before entering the field of intercollegiate athletics, Knupp spent time as an Analyst for Merrill Lynch Global Markets and as a Senior Accounting Associate at Prudential International Insurance.

Knupp acquired his B.A. in economics from Dartmouth College in 2005 and later earned his M.B.A. in finance from Lehigh University in 2011.  While at Dartmouth, Knupp was a three-year letter winner in football at defensive end.

By the Numbers

Rutgers Athletics raised a record $30.3M dollars in 2016, eclipsing the previous record in 2010 of $16.8M (~80% increase) and 2015’s total of $14.4M (~105% increase). Last year between January and May, Rutgers athletics received 10 gifts of $1M or more including the largest donations in Rutgers Athletics history with three donors giving more than $11M combined.

Director of Athletic Development

Specific Responsibilities and Duties

  • In collaboration with the AVP for Athletic Development and athletic development staff, the Director will work to execute the donor identification and solicitation strategy set by Athletic Development leadership that can sustain and grow Rutgers’ athletic programs and secure its financial future. The Director will work closely with the Rutgers University Foundation and his/her fundraising colleagues to marshal the resources necessary to be successful.

 

  • Actively meet with current and prospective donors across the country with the capacity to make gifts of $100,000 and higher; shepherd donors/prospects through every step of the donor solicitation cycle (identify-qualify-engage-solicit-steward); collaborate with various partners to expand pool of potential donors and strengthen engagement of current donor pool including sports specific boosters on behalf of student athletes.

 

  • Provide exemplary leadership and direction to the entire Athletic Development Office. Manage two frontline major gifts fundraisers, including mentoring, training and leading by example. As one of three Directors on the senior team, this role will act as a strategic partner working to execute the vision as set by Athletics leadership.

 

  • As a member of the athletic development team, the Director will be expected to cultivate and maintain strong working relationships with assigned prospects, as well as members of the Rutgers’ staff and student body. S/he will seek and utilize various connections to alumni and friends in order to facilitate meaningful prospect engagement, solicitation and stewardship.

 

  • Work with Rutgers alumni and non-alumni volunteers to identify, engage, solicit, and steward potential donors. Attend athletic, alumni, and campus functions to develop a familiarity with the culture of the athletics program, campus, and alumni base. Appropriately participate in the design and execution of donor/prospect programs and events.

 

Qualities of the Ideal Candidate

The Director can be expected to have the following personal characteristics and professional qualifications:

  • A minimum of seven years of experience in fundraising or related programs. Demonstrate a passion for Rutgers University and its various athletic programs. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of major gift fundraising, maintaining and growing a portfolio and big picture strategy. The ideal candidate would also have an understanding of the impact that collegiate athletics, and more specifically, athletic fundraising has on a university. A passion for sports or experience as a former athlete is a plus.

 

  • Experience in managing at least one fundraising professional along with the ability to mentor other fundraisers in the department. Integrity, creativity, energy, and independence; a collegial, understanding leadership style that will value team members and institutional partners and will allow an appropriate amount of responsibility delegation.

 

  • Ability to multitask and manage time effectively in a fast moving environment. The ability to quickly gain substantive knowledge and comprehension of Rutgers Athletics initiatives, projects, and activities to effectively present potential giving opportunities to prospective donors The ability to quickly and adeptly learn new concepts, and to effectively communicate them to donors.

 

  • Evidence of strong interpersonal skills, and to work effectively and collaboratively with various groups including donors, teammates, and student athletes. A team-first mentality and willingness to help strategize in all aspects of athletic development along with solicitation including cultivation and stewardship. Must have the ability to travel and work during evenings and weekends as needed.

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