After a brief hiccup, the signs continue pointing to the gridiron gang getting back together in Piscataway.
With buzz continuing to grow about a Greg Schiano-Rutgers reunion, the former RU head coach met with university officials in Columbus, Ohio, for several hours Tuesday regarding the opening for a head football coach at the Big Ten school. No agreement was reached, however, in large part because of what was described as unspecified “significant demands” on the part of Schiano and his camp.
While Schiano has been viewed as the clearcut choice for most connected to the university, Butch Jones, who interviewed for the job late last week, has been considered the fallback option should the talks with the former RU head coach implode.
Thursday, however, it’s now being reported by nj.com that Jones has removed his name from consideration for the job with the Scarlet Knights. The development is yet another sign that, provided both sides can get beyond the “significant demand” divide, the university is on the verge of again going all-in on Schiano.
Jones, meanwhile, will continue his journey to get back on the sidelines.
The 51-year-old Jones, whose first coaching job at the collegiate level came as a graduate assistant at Rutgers from 1990-92, parlayed successful stints as the head coach at Central Michigan (2007-09) and Cincinnati (2010-12) into the same job at Tennessee. While Jones put up a pair of 9-4 seasons in Years 3 and 4 on Rocky Top, a 4-6 record through 10 games of his fifth season proved to be the end of his tenure as he was fired by the Volunteers in November of 2017.
Jones ended up going 34-27 overall and 14-24 in SEC while at Tennessee. Overall, he’s 84-54 as a head coach.
Three months after his dismissal, Jones was connected to an off-field job at Alabama; Jones took a job as an offensive analyst for the Crimson Tide in March of 2018, a job he’s held ever since.