MORRISTOWN, N.J. -- Robert E. Mulcahy, a longtime New Jersey official who served as athletic 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 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.