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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rutgers' Marco Battaglia embraces new role in athletics

(Rutgers Athletics
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

Marco Battaglia is enjoying being back at Rutgers, and it's also part of his job.

Rutgers' all-time leading tight end has been in Piscataway two months as director of athletic development, where he's been tasked, partly, to mobilize Rutgers' fan base.

"With the history of the past 18 months, I've been bridging a lot of relationship gaps," Battaglia said in his first public comments since taking the job. "Showing my passion for the school, that's never wavered. Just continuing to spread the good word of Rutgers and Rutgers athletics."

Battaglia, 41, says he often gets to see head coach Kyle Flood, who shares his high school alma mater, St. Francis Prep in Queens, New York.

He said Rutgers' athletics department will have to adjust to a new environment in the Big Ten.

"One thing I do see is we're probably understaffed in some situations, like every other school," Battaglia said. "Going forward with the opportunity in front of us, I think we have to take that opportunity and seize it. I don't think we can have any more mistakes, any more bad media press. The lights get a little brighter. Don't get me wrong, we've been in bright lights for years, but with the realignment and entering the Big Ten, it just turns it up a little brighter."

Battaglia, an All-American after the 1995 season, leads Rutgers' tight ends in all-time yards (2,221), receptions (171) and touchdowns (16), among other stats.

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