Rutgers Fires Coach Kyle Flood, AD Julie Herman
Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann and football coach Kyle Flood have been fired, sources tell ESPN's Brett McMurphy. Flood ands his tenue 27-24 overall but went just 4-12 in conference games, including a 1-7 mark this season, since Rutgers joined the Big Ten in 2014.
"I fully expect to be the head coach here for a long time," Flood told NJ.com after the loss to Maryland.
Regardless of the play on the field, which wasn't very good, Flood was fighting an uphill battle to return to the Scarlet Knights sidelines. He was suspended three games earlier this season for emailing a professor and later scheduling an in-person meeting to discuss the academic standing of former Scarlet Knights defensive back Nadir Barnwell.
In addition, seven Rutgers players were arrested this season for offenses varying from home invasion to assault, including former Egg Harbor Twp star Teejay Johnson.
Flood was rewarded with a two-year contract extension in Sept 2014. He is the first Rutgers head coach in program history to lead the Scarlet Knights to bowl games in each of his first two years as the helm.
"I'm the head football coach," Flood said after the season finale. "I've been here for four years now. We've won the only conference championship in the history of this program. We won the only Lambert Cup in the history of this program. We've gone to three bowl games in four years. And I fully expect to be the head coach here for a long time.''
The Rutgers job would figure to be a good job, especially now that the Scarlet Knights call the Big 10 home. However, a fertile recruiting home base has never been capitalized on, with many of New Jersey top in-state talent choosing to leave home. While Rutgers may be the birthplace of college football, there is very little positive history with the program.
When Flood first got the job, he joined me on the Sports Bash to discuss how he wanted to land more of New Jersey's talent, especially down here in South Jersey, but he was unable to really make a big impact in the Garden State.
Rutgers has struggled to establish a fanbase in the south, in many states the college football program is a tradition, an event, something people will drive two-to-three hours every Saturday to be a part of. Asking people in South Jersey to make the drive up to Piscataway is like asking someone to take a flight to Alaska.
The next coach at Rutgers needs to find a way to make Rutgers a statewide event, they need to figure out a way to make Rutgers cool and a destination for the top talent that New Jersey possess.
One problem will be how desirable is the Rutgers job? Especially in a year when so many top level jobs are open.
Georgia, Maryland, Memphis, Miami, Mizzou, North Texas, South Carolina, Syracuse, Toledo, Tulane, UCF, ULM, USC, UVA - and now Rutgers.