It's not often that you begin your search for a new head coach when you "technically" dont have an opening.

That's happening in Pittsburgh right now with the Panthers preparing their search upon the announcement from Wisconsin that Panthers head coach Paul Chryst would be hired to the same position.

According to a report, the Panthers have started their search with former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano.

Schiano has been out of coaching since 2013 after he (and the general manager who hired him) was fired by Buccaneers ownership.

The former Scarlet Knights coach most recently met with Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez to discuss their vacancy, but the Badgers plan to announce the hiring of Chryst at a news conference on Wednesday night.

Schiano was also subject of Michigan coaching rumors after Brady Hoke was fired this month, but nothing new has come about.

At Rutgers, it took Schiano a few years to turn a struggling program around, he at one point posted a 3-24 Big East conference record. In 2005 however, the program turned around dramatically.

He started to see his recruiting classes shine with standouts such as Ray Rice and Kenny Britt and went on to win 10 games in 2006 along with several coach of the year honors.

In 2012, Schiano was hired by the Buccaneers for his first NFL head coaching stint, but quickly feuded with players, including quarterback Josh Freeman.

A hiring at Pittsburgh for Schiano could be a perfect opportunity to get back into head coaching and recall his old northeastern pipelime he spent years developing in New Jersey. His coaching style is certainly one with personality, but his college and NFL coaching experience is something that incoming players could be attracted to.

Follow Sam Werner for more information.

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