Schiano Departure Leaves Rutgers In Flux [POLL]
In a rather surprising move, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano bolted the college ranks on Thursday to become the new head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Schiano has been the coach at Rutgers for 11 seasons, where he posted a 68-67 record. However, during the last 7 seasons, the Scarlet Knights went 56-33 with a 5-1 bowl record under the watch of the 45 year old Schiano.
Schiano's contract with Rutgers was to run through 2016 and pay him around $2.35 million per year. He was given a 5 year deal from Tampa Bay.
There is no denying the turn-around that Rutgers made with Schiano at the helm, as he made the program more visible and appealing for top recruits with a pro-style system.
Not only has Rutgers become a consistent winner in the Big East, but the Scarlet Knights have regularly been among the top teams in the country when it comes to graduating players. He also encouraged the school to secure funding for multimillion dollar upgrades to Rutgers' facilities, including a major stadium renovation.
The fruits of labor of the program have been seen at the pro level in recent seasons with high draft picks, such as Ray Rice, Anthony Davis, Devin McCourty, Kenny Britt, among others, making an impact in the NFL.
The debate that will rage on around the Rutgers campus and the state of New Jersey will be exactly what to make of Schiano's legacy. There will be those that see the strides the program made with a better product and more nationally viable program. On the other side, opponents will say that while Rutgers improved, there has been unfulfilled hopes and promises of reaching that next tier among college football's elite.
Another issue that will draw the ire of many Rutgers fans is the timing of the move with national signing day less than a week away. This is a pivotal time in the recruiting process, with coaches locking up commitments from high school prospects who make those agreements official by signing national letters of intent starting Wednesday. It also an unusual time for college coaches to leave, whether they go to another school, become an NFL assistant, or get a head coaching at the pro level, as Schiano secured on Thursday.
To oversee this tough transitional time of trying to persuade recruits to stay on board, Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti installed offensive line coach Kyle Flood as the interim coach.
Schiano has been courted by several other colleges during his time at Rutgers, most notably Miami in 2006 and Michigan in 2007. He capped off a 9-4 season last year with a win over Iowa State in the Pinstripe Bowl.
On Thursday, he finally moved on from the program that he invested 11 years trying to rebuild from basically the ground-up.
The Rutgers program is in a state of transition and flux. There will be major questions asked over the next few weeks as the school navigates through the ever-important signing day period, while conducting a coaching search.
Can this program thrive under a different coach? Did Greg Schiano get the football program where many had hoped it would get to?
Or was it time for both sides to have a parting of ways to freshen things up?
Either way, it is now officially "Pandemonium in Piscataway."