Will Rutgers look to its past for its future head football coach? The signs seem to be pointing in that general direction.
Almost immediately after Rutgers mercifully pulled the plug on the Chris Ash era in Piscataway after three-plus seasons and just eight wins, speculation turned to Greg Schiano, the head coach who made Scarlet Knights football relatively relevant earlier this century, as a potentially attractive successor. Since then, attention over the last month or so has turned to the likes of Joe Moorhead (HERE) and Butch Jones, with the former Tennessee head coach reportedly interviewing for the job late last week.
A couple of days after that reported interview, however, speculation has circled back to Schiano as nj.com is reporting that, according to what were described as several high-level donors, “[a] meeting between Rutgers officials and… Schiano is imminent.” According to the website, “the Scarlet Knights’ coaching search is trending toward a return for the former head coach” and that an announcement could come as early as Wednesday, a date which marks the 150th anniversary of the first-ever college football game between RU and Princeton.
As of Sunday night, Schiano and RU officials had not met formally, although there have been informal talks since Ash was canned.
In 11 seasons from 2001-11, Schiano went 68-67 as the head coach at Rutgers. In the seven-plus seasons since Schiano left for the NFL, the Scarlet Knights have gone 35-56 and are 13-43 since the start of the 2015 season; in the 17 years prior to his arrival in Piscataway, they went 67-114-2.
After leaving Rutgers, the 53-year-old Schiano spent two decidedly unsuccessful seasons (7-9 in 2012, 4-12 in 2013) as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Schiano served as the defensive coordinator at Ohio State from 2016-18 before being replaced as part of the post-Urban Meyer staff shakeup by new OSU head coach Ryan Day. In the two years in between the NFL and OSU stints, Schiano coached at a Tampa preparatory school.