Questions still surround AD search

In an effort to find another missing piece to the jigsaw puzzle of Seton Hall athletics, recently promoted University President, A. Gabriel Esteban, notified students via email on Friday that a search committee has been assembled with the goal of establishing a new Director of Athletics.

The announcement comes roughly four months after the resignation of former Director of Athletics, Joe Quinlan, who held the position for five years.

The committee, which is led by Patrick Hobbs, Dean of Seton Hall University’s School of Law, is comprised of five university officials, each representing a different constituent. In addition to Hobbs, the council features Jimmy O’Donnell, Senior Associate Director of Athletics; Karen Boroff, Stillman School of Business; Laura Schoppman, College of Arts & Sciences; and Salvatore Petruzzi, Seton Hall University Alumnus.

Each of the five members in the committee was chosen because of a special connection to both the university and its athletic program.

“This is the right mix of people,” Hobbs said in a phone interview. “I think the committee is small enough where we can easily compare schedules and find time to meet on a regular basis.”

O’Donnell, who was promoted to his current position of Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Team Operations in 2009, has been a part of the Seton Hall Athletics community for 22 years. He manages travel budgets, itineraries, hotel accommodations and transportation for all of Seton Hall’s 14 Division-I teams. Hobbs said O’Donnell is a key committee member due to how closely he works with all teams, most specifically the men’s basketball team.

Boroff has been at Seton Hall for close to 22 years as well and served as the Dean of Seton Hall’s Stillman School of Business from 2000 to 2010. According to Seton Hall’s website, she currently serves on several boards, including the board of the New York Society of Security Analysts and Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society. Boroff also served on Seton Hall’s Presidential Search and Screen Committee in 2009.

Dr. Schoppman, who is currently employed by Seton Hall as the program advisor for Mathematics Education, is one of the direct links between athletics and education. She serves as the faculty athletic representative, working with Academic Support Services. According to the service’s page on the Athletics website, they “help ensure that student-athletes successfully balance their commitments to academics and athletics.”

Petruzzi, the fifth and final member of the committee, is a Seton Hall alumnus who currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Public Relations for Turner Broadcasting Systems. According to a press release from Time Warner, he joined Turner Broadcasting in 2003 from A&E Television, where he was director of public affairs and communications. Before that, Petruzzi was Vice President and senior account executive at Dan Klores Associates, where his clients included ESPN, the NBA and Showtime Network.

“We’re fortunate to have these four people on the committee,” Hobbs said.

The new Director of Athletics, according to Hobbs, does not necessarily have to be someone that has held the position at another school. The committee is simply looking for the right fit.

“We want someone with energy, who is willing to work hard on behalf of our program and our school,” he said. “We have assets that must be managed properly. It’s not just about sports, it’s about education too, and we want our athletes to do well both on and off the playing field.”

The committee has no preference on where they will look for the new hire, however Hobbs did say they have already received about 20 resumes from eager potential candidates, one of which already works in the Seton Hall Athletics Department.

“We’re in the best basketball conference in the country, one of the best athletic conferences overall, we have two new and exciting basketball coaches, in addition to our other coaches, and we are going to need someone who is willing to help build our image and our spirits,” Hobbs said. “This is a critical hire for both our athletic program and our university, and I am very excited about it.”

Hobbs said the committee is working hard and hopes to have narrowed down the finalists by the time the Big East Tournament arrives in early March, but would not be surprised if they already had a name chosen by then.

John Lopiano can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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