Chris Ash

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Rutgers fills vacancy at defensive line coach

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Needing to fill one spot on the coaching staff, Rutgers head coach Chirs Ash has reportedly added former Miami Ohio defensive line coach Corey Brown to fill the same role on his staff in New Jersey. A report from NJ.com confirmed the hiring of Brown over the weekend.

Brown will come to Rutgers after four years at Miami Ohio, but Brown is no stranger to the Big Ten. Brown played college football at Iowa. Brown will have a young defensive line to work with at Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights continue to try and beef up their presence on the line against Big Ten opposition. The disadvantages on the line of scrimmage continue to be one of the biggest areas of concern for Rutgers as the program prepares for its fourth season as a Big Ten member in 2018.

Rutgers was 12th in the Big Ten with 16.0 sacks and 13th in the conference with 50.0 tackles for loss last season. The Scarlet Knights also ranked 11th in the Big Ten in rushing defense after allowing 181.83 rushing yards per game.

Ash has taken strides in attempting to change the way the defensive line has been built, but the kind of change Rutgers has needed to undergo does take time before the program can start going toe-to-toe with division opponents like Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, and Michigan State. It may end up being another work in progress this upcoming season.

Brown will replace Shane Burnham as defensive line coach. Burnham left Rutgers for a job at UCF with new head coach Josh Heupel.

Rutgers reportedly reworks Chris Ash contract through 2022

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A former Rutgers head coach may be having a difficult time being hired for another head coach gig, but current Rutgers head coach was just given a boost of confidence from his bosses. According to a report from NJ.com, Rutgers has reworked the contract of Chris Ash to now run through the 2022 season, giving Ash a two-year extension as a result.

Ash originally signed with Rutgers in December 2015 on a five-year contract, which was valued at $11 million. In addition to commitments to improve the football facilities, Rutgers is now investing more in their head coach as part of the new agreement in place. Per NJ.com;

The two additional years on top of the three he had remaining are worth $5.1 million total, according to a Rutgers official. Ash’s starting salary was $2 million per year with annual raises of $100,000 and those terms remained unchanged: He will make $2.2 million in 2018.

As noted in the report, this is actually the first official contract Ash will have on the record. The previous two seasons, Ash was working off a signed Memorandum of Agreement with the promise of working out an official contract. That deal was in place as Rutgers was awaiting word from the NCAA on any potential sanctions stemming from incidents that occurred under the previous head coach, Kyle Flood.

Ash took the Rutgers job prior to the 2016 season, his first job as a head coach after serving as an assistant under Urban Meyer at Ohio State. The first year on the job did not go well with a rebuilding project on his hands and injuries to key players. The Scarlet Knights went 2-10 in 2016 and suffered humiliating losses in Big Ten play. The 2017 season saw some steps forward for the Rutgers program result in doubling the win total from the previous season. The gaps between Rutgers and the top programs in the Big Ten were still visible from the moon and the season ended with a loud thud in the form of a 40-0 loss at Indiana and a 40-7 setback at home against Michigan State, but the larger picture of Rutgers in 2017 had some positives the 2016 season simply did not.

Jerry Kill “expected back shortly” following seizure over weekend

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Rutgers offensive coordinator Jerry Kill has a well-documented history battling seizures, and unfortunately, it has once again resurfaced over the weekend. According to a report from NJ.com, Kill has been hospitalized for a minor seizure on Sunday morning, but he is expected to return to work as soon as today, according to Rutgers head coach Chris Ash.

The seizure may have been a result of a sideline collision involving Kill during Saturday’s game at home against Eastern Michigan.

“Coach Kill had a minor medical setback,” Ash said, according to NJ.com. “He is going to be fine. Saturday, early in the game after the first drive, he got tumbled up. He was really discombobulated in the first half from it and had some headaches Saturday night.”

Ash said Kill is doing fine and just awaiting release from the hospital later today or tomorrow.

Kill parted ways with Minnesota after the two sides were unable to work out a new contract for an administrative role following the 2015 season. Kill had stepped away from coaching the Gophers earlier in the 2015 season, citing health concerns related to his seizures and epilepsy preventing him from being able to focus on the job of head coach the way he would prefer. Kill had fallen victim to seizures on sidelines during his time at Minnesota and made the decision that was best for his health and the program at the time, but his desire to stay involved as a coach never went away.

Rutgers signed Kill as an offensive coordinator this year, with Kill suggesting his ongoing seizure concerns will not interfere with his coaching. That will hopefully be the case here.

Rutgers announces new six-year deal with Adidas

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Rutgers is ending a partnership with Nike and embarking on a new six-year partnership with Adidas.

Announced today, the new contract between Rutgers and Adidas will officially begin on July 1, 2017, at which point the current contract with Nike will expire. Adidas will provide all athletic programs at Rutgers with footwear, apparel, and accessories, which means Adidas will get a chance to see what they can do with the football uniforms.

“Everyone here at Rutgers is excited to be partnering with Adidas,” Rutgers Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs said in a released statement. “Our coaches and students know they will be getting outstanding apparel and equipment with which to compete. As important, Adidas will bring unmatched service to our programs. We look forward to celebrating much success together, both on and off the field.”

“We are extremely excited about our new partnership with Adidas,” Rutgers head coach Chris Ash said. We are committed to giving our student-athletes the best to help them on and off the field. Adidas is the perfect partner to outfit our players as they compete.”

The terms of the new contract (how much Rutgers will receive from Adidas) have not been reported at this time.

What the new Rutgers football uniforms will look like remains a mystery to the public at this time, although it is likely a proposed uniform has already been mocked up if the company is going to suit Rutgers up starting this season. Rutgers will be the third Big Ten program to have a contract with Adidas, with Indiana and Nebraska already under the Adidas banner. Nebraska has a five-year deal signed in 2013 that pays the school $15.53 million. Last spring, Michigan and Nike signed a $173.8 million apparel deal, making Michigan football the first team to wear the Jumpman logo on a football uniform.

Adidas also has contracts with Arizona State, Arkansas State, Central Michigan, East Carolina, Eastern Michigan, FIU, FAU, Georgia Southern, Kansas, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, Miami FL, Miami OH, Mississippi State, NC State, Northern Illinois, Rice, Texas A&M, Texas State, Troy, Tulsa, UMass, UTSA and Western Michigan.

No. 2 Ohio State thumps Rutgers, 58-0

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No. 2 Ohio State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) opened its Big Ten schedule without giving up a point. J.T. Barrett tossed four touchdowns to become the school’s all-time passing touchdown leader and Mike Weber rushed for 144 yards and a score in a 58-0 victory over Rutgers (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten) on Saturday in Ohio Stadium.

First year Rutgers head coach Chris Ash, a former Ohio State assistant, had the benefit of having some inside perspective on how Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer prepares his team. But Meyer had the benefit of having a stacked roster that could probably have gotten by with a fairly easy win if they juts used second and third-stringers against Rutgers. Rutgers did hang with Ohio State early on in the first quarter, including an interception of Barrett on Ohio State’s first offensive possession, but there was no matchup battle that wasn’t won by Ohio State the rest of the way.

At one point in the fourth quarter, Ohio State had 502 more yards of total offense than Rutgers. That included over 350 rushing yards. Ohio State also had 20 more first downs than Rutgers. It’s hard to pull an upset, or even sniff an upset, with that kind of box score.

There was a bit of a scare on the field for Rutgers this afternoon when linebacker Greg Jones was taken off the field on a stretcher and on a cart after apparently banging his helmet while attempting to make a tackle. He was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. Early indications appear to suggest Jones should be OK, as he has been communicating and moving his extremities.

Did we really learn anything from this game? No, probably not much. Ohio State was a heavy favorite over Rutgers anyway, and there was never much expectation Rutgers would make a game of this one. For Ohio State, it was just another week to get in gear, and they are certainly in gear. There is no team in the Big Ten as good as Ohio State. This is Ohio State’s conference to lose.

Ohio State will continue Big Ten play at home next week against Indiana. The Hoosiers host Michigan State Saturday night and have a knack for giving Ohio State some trouble in recent years, at least on offense. Rutgers will return home to host Michigan in a primetime game next week. Ohio State one week and Michigan the next? That’s juts cruel.