Greg Schiano

Update: Schiano close to deal to leave Rutgers for Bucs

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UPDATED 2:37 p.m. ET: Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti will address the media at 4:30 p.m. ET this afternoon and discuss the direction the football program will move in regards to the head coaching position. Two unnamed players will be available for comment as well.

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UPDATED 12:57 p.m. ET: A team meeting has been called for 2 p.m. ET Thursday afternoon, at which point the Scarlet Knight players will officially be informed that Greg Schiano is leaving the program for an NFL job.  Schiano is also expected to meet with his coaching staff prior to that meeting.

The school is expected to issue a press release confirming Schiano’s departure at some point shortly after that team meeting.

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UPDATED 10:54 a.m. ET: There is apparently a lot of meat to the Greg Schiano speculation.

Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that “Tampa Bay plans to hire Rutgers coach Greg Schiano as the next Buccaneers head coach. Two sides trying to finalize contract.”

CFT has reached out to Rutgers for a comment on the growing speculation, but thus far the school has declined to respond.

This apparently wasn’t Schiano’s first NFL flirtation this offseason; according to Schefter, Schiano interviewed with the St. Louis Rams and was a finalist for the job that ultimately went to Jeff Fisher.

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Reports emerged over the weekend that Chip Kelly had decided to leave Oregon to take the head coaching job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A couple of days after Kelly reversed course, another program at the collegiate level could find itself fending off advances toward their head coach from the same professional organization.

On its Twitter account Thursday morning, WDAE radio in Tampa wrote that it’s “[h]earing whispers that the #Bucs coach could be a college coach.”  Subsequent to that, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweeted that “620 WDAE in Tampa reporting that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano is possibly going to be the Bucs new head coach.”

“I have no confirmation of Rutgers coach Greg Schiano becoming the Bucs next head coach. Is it possible? Anything is,” Stroud wrote in a follow-up tweet.

Jason LaConfora of the NFL Network subsequently confirmed that report, tweeting that Schiano “is under consideration for Bucs job.”

Schiano has been the head coach of the Scarlet Knights since 2001, going 68-67 in his 11 seasons at the school.  His last job at the professional level was in 1998, serving as a defensive assistant with the Chicago Bears for three years.

Following the dismissal of Joe Paterno, Schiano, who coached at the school prior to his time with the Bears, was mentioned as a likely target of the school; he ultimately denied any interest in the opening.  He was also connected to the Illinois vacancy, but those rumors were swiftly knocked down.

Suffice to say, the school has no comment on the latest round of speculation regarding their coach.  As it’s now six days until National Signing Day, they might want to change that tack if there is no truth to the rumors at all.

Washington State coach Mike Leach fires a shot at the SEC

EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 19: Head coach Mike Leach of the Washington State Cougars looks on from the sidelines during the second quarter of the game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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Washington State coach Mike Leach is known across the country as one of college football’s most interesting characters, rambling on from time-to-time about everything from pirates to the history of Geronimo. The latest subject the quirky head coach has turned his sights on? The big ol’ SEC.

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger spoke to Leach recently as part of a profile on new Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo, and let’s just say the Air Raid guru of the Palouse didn’t hold back when discussing the state of offenses in the league widely considered to be the best in the sport.

“I’ve got bad news for all these levels people,” Leach said. “Your level isn’t special, your conference isn’t special. All this different level this, different level that. That’s crazy.

 

“This is a great time to be in the SEC, everybody’s got the same offense: run right, run left, play action. And they tease themselves  and say we threw it four more times a game this year than we did last year.”

Leach, who coached in the league at Kentucky, also added some other, more colorful language to describe his impression of the SEC and the offenses teams run. While he did play at Auburn with the Cougars a few years ago, he clearly hasn’t kept up with the way things are trending down south as even pro-style stalwarts like Alabama and Arkansas are using more and more tempo and spread principles on a weekly basis.

Either way, let’s hope the Washington State athletic director is already making calls to schedule an SEC opponent in the coming years. If nothing else, any future appearance by Leach on the Paul Finebaum Show should be must-see entertainment.

Willie Taggart completes Oregon coaching staff with familiar face from USF

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 26: South Florida Bulls head coach Willie Taggart during the third quarter at Raymond James Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Jason Behnken / Getty Images)
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It probably took a little longer than most to dot the I’s and cross the T’s, but Willie Taggart has completed his coaching staff at Oregon and the latest addition is a familiar face.

The school announced Thursday afternoon that Raymond Woodie would be taking over as the Ducks’ new special teams coordinator, having previously spent the past four seasons at USF with Taggart and three more before that together at Western Kentucky.

Woodie most recently served as the Bulls’ defensive coordinator this past season but has been a linebackers coach dating back to 2012. He is regarded by many to be a quality recruiter with good ties to the state of Florida in particular and has also coached the defensive line. While his title makes him responsible for the third phase of the game for Oregon, he figures to also help out new defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt in some fashion as well.

The announcement is a bit of positive news for Taggart and the Ducks this week after a considerable bit of bad press for the program stemming from the revelation that multiple Oregon players wound up in the hospital following offseason workouts. New strength coach Irele Oderinde (who also came over from USF) was eventually suspended for one month without pay by the school as a result..

Despite Auburn interest, Texas A&M OC Noel Mazzone staying put in College Station

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 14:  The Texas A&M Aggies offense huddles against the Missouri Tigers at Kyle Field on October 14, 2006 in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M won 25-19. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Gus Malzahn’s quest to find a new offensive coordinator has zigged and zagged in the past few days since the surprising departure of Rhett Lashlee to UConn. One place it will not be going however, is to a fellow SEC West school.

Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle reports that despite some interest in Texas A&M offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, the Aggies’ coach is staying put in College Station.

Mazzone arrived at A&M prior to this past season from UCLA and found early success with the Aggies and transfer quarterback Trevor Knight before a late slide in 2016. Travis Haney of 247Sports reported earlier Thursday that he could be considered the leader in the search to replace Lashlee, but it appears that will not be the case.

The longtime coaching veteran’s name being linked to Auburn isn’t too surprising considering he was the OC there from 1999-2001 but Mazzone’s hefty salary and likely high buyout figure provided some big obstacles if he wanted to reunite with the school.

Instead, it’s on to the next one for Malzahn and company.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan coaches ride go-karts with five-star recruit in Georgia

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 17:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines reacts during the college football game against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines 27-23.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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National Signing Day is just around the corner and that means a flurry of in-home visits by coaches across the country trying to lock up the next class of impact players for their program.

We’ve seen plenty of unique attempts by coaches to impress prospects over the years as a result, from often used cookie cakes to sleepovers and limo rides. When it comes to this subject though, few have been as creative as Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. This week, he certainly cemented that reputation.

According to the Detroit News, Harbaugh and several Wolverines coaches took an in-home visit with five-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon out of Leesburg, Georgia and went bowling with the recruit’s family before finally racing go-karts together.

And even better, there’s video via ESPN:

Solomon is also strongly considering Alabama and Georgia in addition to Michigan, but something says neither Nick Saban or Kirby Smart will be heading to the race track with the big defensive tackle on their visit. You have to love recruiting either way.