Rut­gers hires Schi­ano to re­build Scar­let Knights - again

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - AP Col­lege Foot­ball Writer

By RALPH D. RUSSO

Greg Schi­ano is com­ing back to Rut­gers.

Ath­letic di­rec­tor Pat Hobbs an­nounced Sun­day the univer­sity and Schi­ano have reached a con­tract agree­ment, a week af­ter talks to bring back the 53-year-old former Scar­let Knights head coach fell apart.

“The next great chap­ter for Rut­gers Foot­ball is about to be­gin,” Hobbs said in a state­ment.

The con­tract must be ap­proved by the schools’ board of gover­nors. It is sched­uled to meet Tues­day to dis­cuss the hir­ing.

Hobbs called the ne­go­ti­a­tions com­plex.

“It wouldn’t be ap­pro­pri­ate to pre­judge any ac­tion that the Board of Gover­nors may take, but I be­lieve today that Rut­gers Foot­ball is on the path to great­ness,” Hobbs said.

Rut­gers had of­fered Schi­ano an eight-year con­tract worth $32 mil­lion, but the two sides could not agree on other fi­nan­cial com­mit­ments by the school to­ward im­proved fa­cil­i­ties and in­fra­struc­ture and both in­di­cated they were ready to move on.

Af­ter that news broke last Sun­day, Rut­gers of­fi­cials faced a wave of crit­i­cism from boost­ers, fans and former play­ers. Schi­ano was coach at Rut­gers from 200111. The Scar­let Knights went to a bowl game in six of his fi­nal seven sea­sons.

Rut­gers fin­ished off a 2-10 season, 0-9 in the Big Ten, on Satur­day with a loss at Penn State. Nun­zio Cam­panile has been the in­terim head coach since the fir­ing of Chris Ash five games into his fourth season. Ash went 8-32 in three-plus sea­sons, in­clud­ing 3-26 in the Big Ten.

Af­ter Ash was fired, Schi­ano was im­me­di­ately spec­u­lated as a can­di­date to re­place him.

Schi­ano, a New Jersey na­tive, went 68-67 at Rut­gers and turned the Scar­let Knights into con­sis­tent win­ners in the old Big East af­ter years of be­ing one of the worst ma­jor col­lege foot­ball pro­grams in the coun­try. Suc­cess un­der Schi­ano helped Rut­gers land an in­vite to the Big Ten, and it joined the lu­cra­tive Power Five con­fer­ence in 2014.

Af­ter news of Schi­ano’s re­turn broke, there was a pos­i­tive re­sponse from alumni and former play­ers.

“Wel­come back coach @ GregSchi­ano F.A.M.I.L.Y.,” tweeted Eric LeGrand, who was par­a­lyzed dur­ing a 2010 game while play­ing for Schi­ano.

Schi­ano left Rut­gers in 2012 to be­come head coach for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers, but his ten­ure lasted only two years. He resur­faced at Ohio State as de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor. He had reached an agree­ment to be­come Ten­nessee coach in 2017, but a fan mutiny on so­cial me­dia led the school to re­scind its of­fer.

Schi­ano left Ohio State af­ter last season when the Buck­eyes strug­gled on his side of the ball, and briefly took a job as an as­sis­tant with the New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots ear­lier this year. He stepped down soon af­ter, de­cid­ing in­stead to take the season off.

Now he’s set to re­turn and fac­ing maybe an even tougher task than the first time around, try­ing to make Rut­gers re­spectable in the Big Ten.

BILL FEIG - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

FILE - In this Dec. 29, 2013, file photo, then-Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers head coach Greg Schi­ano re­acts on the side­line in the first half of an NFL foot­ball game against the New Or­leans Saints in New Or­leans. Greg Schi­ano is com­ing back to Rut­gers. Ath­letic di­rec­tor Pat Hobbs an­nounced Sun­day, Dec. 1, 2019 the univer­sity and Schi­ano have reached a con­tract agree­ment, a week af­ter talks to bring back the 53-year-old former Scar­let Knights head coach fell apart.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.