The on-again, off-again dance between Rutgers and Greg Schiano appears to be back on.
For real and for good it seems.
Less than a week after reports surfaced saying the Scarlet Knights were headed in a different direction after being unable to reach a deal with their former head coach, Yahoo! Sports was the first of several outlets to report late on Saturday night/early Sunday morning that Schiano had in fact agreed in principal to a deal that would return him to Piscataway as head coach.
Schiano, 53, went 68-67 at Rutgers from 2001-11, a middling record that doesn’t fully describe the salvage job he did in turnaround around one of the oldest college football programs from among the worst in FBS to an actual contender in the old Big East. He eventually departed for a short stint as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and recently served three seasons as Urban Meyer’s defensive coordinator at Ohio State.
Having experience with such previous challenges on the gridiron should prepare him for what awaits him in 2020 and beyond with the current team stuck in a similar spot as the doormat of the Big Ten, having just wrapped up 2-10 campaign that included firing Chris Ash back in late September.
It’s unknown what exactly led to the school, AD Pat Hobbs and Schiano to get back together given that previous sticking points reportedly included private jet travel, facilities upgrades and guarantees in his contract. Rather ironically, a furious uproar by a fan base over his hiring cost him a shot at taking over at Tennessee two years ago and may have had the opposite effect this time around in landing him the gig at Rutgers.
In the end though, Schiano is back at home in Piscataway — just in a very roundabout way that few could have predicted a few months ago.