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Rutgers makes hiring of John McNulty as OC official

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Rutgers officially has its ninth offensive coordinator in as many years.

Late last week, reports surfaced that Chris Ash was set to hire John McNulty as its new coordinator.  Monday afternoon, the Scarlet Knights confirmed the hiring of McNulty as the replacement for Jerry Kill, who stepped down after one season last month due to ongoing health concerns.

McNulty is a very familiar name in Piscataway as he served as the Scarlet Knights’ coordinator and assistant coach under Greg Schiano from 2004-08.

“I’m excited to welcome John back to the Rutgers football family,” a statement from the head coach began. “He has a wealth of football knowledge and experience, and I look forward to him helping develop our quarterbacks. John is a great leader, man and coach, and I’m excited to see him shape the identity of our offense.”

The past two seasons, McNulty served as the tight ends coach for the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.  In fact, he had spent his entire time as an assistant coach since leaving RU at the NFL level, including stops with the Arizona Cardinals (2009-12),  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013) and Tennessee Titans (2014-15).  He also spent six seasons in the NFL prior to his RU stint — Jacksonville Jaguars (1998-2002) and Dallas Cowboys (2003).

McNulty, who played his college football at Penn State, began his collegiate coaching career at Michigan (1991-94) before moving on to UConn for three seasons as wide receivers coach.

RB Jon Hilliman leaves BC, lands at Rutgers

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Jon Hilliman will finish out the collegiate portion of his playing career on his home turf.

After opting to transfer from Boston College following the 2017 season, Hilliman has decided that Rutgers in his home state of New Jersey will be his final stop.  The running back made the announcement on Twitter Wednesday evening.

Hilliman will be coming to Piscataway as a graduate transfer, which grants him immediate eligibility for the 2018 season.  It’s also a boon for a Scarlet Knights’ backfield that will be forced to replace its top two rushers from a year ago.

Last season, Hilliman was second on the Eagles in rushing yards (638) and rushing touchdowns (five).  The Scarlet Knights’ two leading rushers in 2017, Gus Edwards and Robert Martin, ran for 713 and 434 yards, respectively.  Both of those backs have used up their collegiate eligibility.

Hilliman also became a threat coming out of the backfield, catching 24 passes in 2017.

Rutgers reportedly brings back John McNulty as new OC

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It appears Rutgers has settled on its ninth offensive coordinator in as many years.

Citing unnamed sources, nj.com is reporting that John McNulty has been hired as Chris Ash’s new coordinator on the offensive side of the ball.  McNulty would replace Jerry Kill, who stepped down after one season last month due to ongoing health concerns.

McNulty is a very familiar name in Piscataway as he served as a coordinator and assistant coach under Greg Schiano from 2004-08.  The website explained how the impending hire played out:

Ash recently had others close to him reach out to some prominent Rutgers alumni to feel out their potential reaction to a reunion with McNulty, sources told NJ Advance Media. McNulty expressed back-channel interest in the job from the start of the search.

The past two seasons, McNulty served as the tight ends coach for the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.  In fact, he had spent his entire time as an assistant coach since leaving RU at the NFL level.

Rutgers confirms Jerry Kill stepping down after one season as OC

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Earlier this month, it was reported that Jerry Kill would be making a health-related decision on his future as the offensive coordinator at Rutgers.  Exactly one week later, that decision has been made.

In a press release, the football program confirmed that Kill will be stepping down from his post, citing unspecified health reasons.  The 56-year-old Kill was hospitalized in September of this year after suffering what was described as a minor seizure related to his ongoing battle with epilepsy, although he returned to his coaching duties shortly thereafter.

In October of 2015, Kill was forced to step down as Minnesota’s head football coach because of health issues related to ongoing epileptic seizures.  Prior to joining the Rutgers staff, Kill spent the 2016 season in a non-coaching role at Kansas State.

“I would like to thank Jerry, Rebecca and their entire family for everything they did for our program, both on and off the field,” said head coach Chris Ash. “Jerry had a great impact on our coaching staff and was a tremendous influence on all of our players. I wish Jerry and his wife the best and they will always be part of our Rutgers family.”

“I want to thank Chris Ash and Pat Hobbs for giving me the opportunity to coach at Rutgers,” Kill said in his statement. “I would also like to thank the players, the Rutgers family, fans and media for everything they have done for Rebecca and I. This program is definitely headed in the right direction with coach Ash and I know that firsthand. I enjoyed the year being an assistant coach and had a ton of fun with the players and coaches.

“I hope that through my 34 years of coaching that I was able to be a positive influence on young people because that is truly why I coach. I want to thank all the players for what they have done for me. I appreciate and love all of the people that are part of my family. I don’t have any regrets and I’ve had a blessed career. I love this game and all the coaches that I’ve worked with. They have all made Jerry Kill a better man. I know that I did it the right way and I did it my way. I gave everything I had to the game, I just ran out of juice.”

Kill had just completed his first season as the Scarlet Knights’ coordinator.

In the year prior to Kill’s arrival, RU was 127th nationally in points per game (15.7) and 18th in total offense (283 yards per games).  In Kill’s first season in 2017, they were 121st in the former category (18 ppg) and 129th in the latter (263 ypg).

Jerry Kill to make health-related decision on future as Rutgers’ OC

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Once again, Jerry Kill‘s health could force him to step away from the game.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, nj.com is reporting that the Rutgers’ offensive coordinator “is evaluating his options and is expected to make a health-related decision in the coming days” on his coaching future. The 56-year-old Kill was hospitalized in September of this year after suffering what was described as a minor seizure related to his ongoing battle with epilepsy, although he returned to his coaching duties shortly thereafter.

Ahead of an official decision, the website added, head coach Chris Ash has been informing prospects on the recruiting trail of the possibility that Kill might not be with the Scarlet Knights because of the issues that stretch back years.

In October of 2015, Kill was forced to step down as Minnesota’s head football coach because of health issues related to ongoing epileptic seizures.  Prior to joining the Rutgers staff, Kill spent the 2016 season in a non-coaching role at Kansas State.

In the year prior to Kill’s arrival, RU was 127th nationally in points per game (15.7) and 18th in total offense (283 yards per games).  In Kill’s first season in 2017, they were 121st in the former category (18 ppg) and 129th in the latter (263 ypg).