Robert E. Mulcahy III
Sports administrator
Born: May 23, 1936, in Short Hills, New Jersey
Died: February 8, 2022
New Jersey Hall of Fame, Class of 2019-20: Sports

Bob Mulcahy is that rare individual who in a lifetime of service made meaningful contributions to his hometown, his state and his nation.

Born and raised in Short Hills, Mulcahy attended Millburn High School and Villanova University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and was a member of the Naval ROTC. Following graduation in 1958, he served as a naval officer on the USS Leyte and the USS Tarawa.

After completing his military service, Mulcahy moved to Mendham with his wife, Terry. In Mendham, he entered public service, winning a seat on the local council and eventually being elected mayor. Mulcahy was just 30 years old when Governor Brendan Byrne named him the state’s first Corrections Commissioner; Byrne later chose Mulcahy as his chief of staff.

Next, Mulcahy began his 19-year tenure as president and CEO of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. Under his NJSEA leadership, the Meadowlands Sports Complex developed into one of the nation’s premiere sports and entertainment venues, hosting the FIFA World Cup and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four. Mulcahy was also instrumental in bringing Pope John Paul II to Giants Stadium to celebrate mass and attracting the pro football Jets and the NHL Devils to New Jersey.

Mulcahy left the NJSEA in 1998 to become athletic director at Rutgers University. Armed with political savvy and deep contacts, Mulcahy raised the athletic department’s endowment and obtained state funding for a massive renovation of the university’s athletic facilities. He is widely credited with turning the RU football team into a perennial bowl contender and setting the stage for Rutgers athletics to join the Big Ten. None of that might have happened had not Mulcahy tapped Greg Schiano as head football coach following the 2000 season—a bold move, considering that Schiano was only 34 at the time.

Mulcahy’s years of service included the chairmanship of Cathedral Healthcare System in Newark and 14 years on the board of Atlantic Health System. He was a charter member of the County College of Morris; board member for Morris Catholic High School; chair of the education committee for Delbarton School; and chairman of Georgian Court University Board of Trustees. He also served as chairman of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority under successive New Jersey governors of different political parties.

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