Piece of cake, really. All it took was a month of negotiations, a revolt from the fan base, intervention from every significant politician and (we might find out today) the deed to several mid-sized Middlesex County towns. North Brunswick, you are now Schianoville!— Steve Politi (@StevePoliti) December 1, 2019
Near the end of the 150th Anniversary season of College Football, first played between Rutgers and Princeton on a field in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1869, Greg Schiano, after an incredible amount of drama will be Rutgers' 31st Head Coach [in principal] (after previous negotiations fell through, this time is for real). Schiano had already been heavily rumored as Rutgers’ next coach and this was pretty much the reason he left the Patriots staff prematurely. For that reason I'm especially happy it worked out.
Rutgers, which just finished its 2019 regular season in a closer than it looks 27-6 loss to Penn State, has been without an official head coach since September 29, when Chris Ash was suddenly fired for poor performance over the last four seasons. Coach Nunzio Campanile, formerly the tight ends coach had been appointed as both Interim Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator, after Ash’s and OC John McNulty’s firing. Coach Nunz has done a tremendous job leading Rutgers Football through these trying times and I hope more than anything out of all of this that he stays on staff.
Overall this has been a poor and turbulent season for Rutgers which is unfortunate given the specialness of this particular season to the history of college football and Rutgers relationship to it. This hire will lead to some stability and hope looking ahead for most Scarlet Knights fans. Shame it didn't happen in thr 150th. Additionally, while Schiano may not explicitly guarantee wins at Rutgers, he guarantees a few major things that will be a huge help to the overall optics of Rutgers Football, which in turn can potentially help with wins.
8 Things Greg Brings
1) NFL connection. The unique intense bond that Rutgers has with the best team in the NFL is a special thing for the program. The relationship Rutgers has with the Patriots is because of Greg Schiano, the players he coached, and his friendship with Bill Bellichick. I can easily see a renewed era of Bill wearing Rutgers gear and perhaps even visiting the players at RU all because of Greg Schiano. I can also see Schiano tapping Steve Bellichick, a Rutgers alumnus, for Defensive Coordinator down the road. And of course now all of Greg's former legendary players will make even more regular rounds at Rutgers. This is cool to recruits and fans alike for sure.
2) Media alignment. Rutgers has had a... call it a turbulent relationship with the local media. I won't go into the details, but unless Greg totally craps the bed at Rutgers or has a major scandal (which I don't totally see happening) the media got their guy. They got a guy that they want to cover and a the guy who will make Rutgers something worth covering positively. Finally. This is far more valuable to the optics of the program than many realize, but they will soon when they find themselves agreeing with NJ.com articles and not going on the defensive as has been the standard since I started at Rutgers in 2012.
3) Season tickets and donations. Financially, the season ticket increase that will come with Greg Schiano's return is going to be insane. Rutgers fans who understandably fell out of interest with Rutgers Football may find themselves with renewed excitement. Add that to the people who have been suffering alongside this whole time are also pumped for the new Greg throwback era. Also,
Saturday post-game #Rutgers Nation update:— Jon Newman (@jonnew) December 1, 2019
1451 individual pledges for $322,216 to @R_Fund.
To voice your support for @GregSchiano ‘s return make a
$52 pledge by retweeting the tweet below. Pledges can also be posted on @RUscarletnation and @RutgersRivals boards.#CHOP https://t.co/42Z5N9DoVp
Come on, Big Ten. Don't you love how crazy we are? At least we have personality and spunk. We grassroots'd a whole football coach. Anyway, Money is coming. The above Tweet is just one example of how Rutgers fans are more eager to give money if they have hope in the program.
4) Greg Schiano is the biggest name we could get. He may not be a National Championship winner, but he helmed and resuscitated a pathetic football program and is known for having done such. He's not a coach who has "yet to prove himself," and the frustrating narrative that can come with that.
5) Greg has learned a lot. This Greg Schiano is not the same Greg Schiano that took over Rutgers in 2001. I'd like to think that his time in the NFL and as a coordinator for the best Big Ten program in the modern era did a lot for Greg as far as his coaching abilities go. We know he can coach the hell out of some Defensive Backs. Hopefully, Greg has improved what he knows, but also now confidently knows what he _doesn't_ know and puts a complementary staff in place.
6) A Jersey guy with personality. Greg has a good way about him. He fits in with this market and region and I think he's going to once again be a good face for Rutgers Athletics, unlike Ash who always looks like he ate some bad sushi.
7) A 2020 recruiting class head start. Apparently, in his Nov. 5th interview Schiano presented a giant binder full of ways to improve Rutgers Football. One of these ways was a comprehensive review of students already in the transfer portal to recruit and and instantly boost the the program.
8) No disappointed Eric LeGrand.
Timeline of Schiano’s career
Schiano’s previous career at Rutgers was from 2001 to 2011. After struggling his first four years in what was then the Big East, he helped bring Rutgers to national relevance starting in 2005 where Rutgers went to a bowl game and finished the season 7-5 with a nationally televised 37–29 upset win over Pittsburgh. This was followed by a particularly iconic 2006 season where Rutgers upset nationally ranked Louisville (#3) and jumped to seventh in the national AP Poll, Rutgers’ highest ranking in school history, and first Top 25 ranking in decades. The 2006 season would be capped with a final record of 11-2, #12 ranking, and Rutgers’ first ever bowl game win over Kansas State. Though Rutgers would never again reach the heights of the 2006 season, Schiano would lead Rutgers to 4 more bowl games in 2007, ‘08, ‘09, and 2011. Schiano left Rutgers at the end of the 2011 season.
After leaving Rutgers, Schiano had a two season stint at the pros coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They ended the 2012 regular season with a 7–9 record, and Schiano was then fired at the end of the 2013-14 season when the Buccaneers went 4-12.
Schiano spent the next two seasons coaching Berkeley Preparatory School in Tampa, Florida, before he was hired by Urban Meyer as defensive coordinator at Ohio State in 2016. At Ohio State he coached top ten defenses and was named 247Sports Recruiter of the Year (2018) in the Big Ten after helping the Buckeyes land the nation’s second-ranked recruiting class. He was also frequently cited as being an incredibly positive force for the Buckeyes, for both players and staff particularly through the turbulent time during Urban Meyer’s suspension.
For a moment, Schiano was headed to the coaching staff of the New England Patriots in early 2019, but unexpectedly turned the job down in March 2019. Now we know, again, that this was for the Rutgers job.
Schiano and NFL Rutgers Players
At Rutgers, Schiano coached a good amount of NFL players, many of whom are still active today, with a significant cluster on the Patriots:
New England Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu
Cincinnati Bengals long snapper/tight end Clark Harris
New England Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty
Current free agent and former New England Patriots wide receiver Kenny Britt
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Tom Savage
Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice
New England Patriots free safety Devin McCourty
Tennessee Titans cornerback Logan Ryan
Current free agent and former New England Patriots linebacker Jonathan Freeny
New England Patriots safety Duron Harmon
Retired San Francisco 49ers center Jeremy Zuttah
Overall Schiano has a decent resume and his history at Rutgers will give us that injection of new life and revival for the Rutgers Football program that this school sorely needs. So... Welcome back, Greg. Please do what Rutgers needs you to/believes you can do, and don't spoil your existing positive legacy.