With each passing day, a Greg Schiano return to Piscataway appears more and more likely.
With buzz continuing to grow about a Schiano-Rutgers reunion, the former RU head coach met with university officials in Columbus, Ohio, for several hours last 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. Late last week, as Butch Jones, considered the No. 2 option to replace Chris Ash, reportedly pulled his name from consideration as the Schiano writing seemed to be on the wall for the former Tennessee head coach.
Overnight, there was yet another significant development as nj.com reported that Schiano met over the past few days with New Jersey’s governor, Phil Murphy.
Murphy recently spoke to the former Scarlet Knights coach, NJ Advance Media has learned, amidst Rutgers’ effort to clear what is believed to be the last remaining hurdle between a reunion with Schiano and agree on a plan to update the football program’s facilities.
Dialogue between Murphy and Schiano is noteworthy considering Rutgers, a state university that derives about 22% of its operating budget from state appropriations, will presumably need support from Trenton in order to begin its next phase of facility upgrades — the final issue that needs to be ironed out in order to finalize Schiano’s return, according to several people with knowledge of the process.
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 36-60 and are 13-44 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.