Larry Hazzard, Sr. has a job with a $142,000-a-year job with a very cool title: he’s the Commissioner of the State Athletic Control Board. He’s held that post since Gov. Tom Kean appointed him in 1985.
For those who are unfamiliar: Hazzard is a three-time Golden Glove champion who grew up in Newark and was mentored by Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson. After his boxing career ended, he became a referee; eventually becoming the state’s chief boxing referee back when Atlantic City was getting some high-profile fights. His other title is Director of the State Athletic Control Board. Under the auspices of the state Attorney General, he’s in charge of making sure that boxing and other contact sports follow the state’s safety and business regulations.
Hazzard is well-liked and effective, and there’s no reason Gov.-elect Phil Murphy won’t keep him – even though he hasn’t announced his new DLPS leadership team yet. But Hazzard is 73 and it’s possible, after 32 years on the job, that he’ll retire at some point sooner rather than later. Murphy ought not be surprised if he attracts long line of aspirants for the State Athletic Commissioner job – if only because the title sounds great.