Long Time Rutgers AD Fred Gruninger Passes Away at 92
Long time Rutgers Athletic Director Fred Gruninger who served as Director of Athletics for 25 years until his retirement in 1998 passed away Friday night at the age of 92.
The news, first published on NJ.com, recounts the career of Gruninger who left a “legacy of integrity, honesty and loyalty.”
He was inducted into the Rutgers Athletic Hall of Fame back in 2019 in a class that included former Mets and Yankees third baseman Todd Fraizer.
Gruninger also belongs to the Hall of Fame for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
He began his celebrated career at Rutgers back in 1959 as an alumni relations officer and director of the Rutgers Fund. By 1966, Gruninger was named Assistant Athletic Director. In 1973 he took over the top job.
Gruninger was credited with hiring the first black head coach of any sport when he named Sandra Petway. He also hired Theresa Grentz to become the first full-time head coach of women’s basketball in 1976. Grentz was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2022.
Gruninger also created the Scarlet R Club, and helped facilitate the process that led to the construction of Jersey Mike’s Arena and the Hale Center.