Rutgers Made the Right Choice Bringing Back Greg Schiano
All that can be said is: it's about time.
Rutgers is finally acting like a Big Ten Football program. The 2014 season, the inaugural season within the conference for the university, seems like a lifetime ago. The final leftovers from the Greg Schiano era capped off an 8-5 campaign, 3-5 in the conference, including a home victory of Michigan, feels like it never existed when looking at the 2015-19 seasons for Rutgers Football.
Schiano took over a program that was a laughingstock the first time around and he'll be doing the same as the Scarlet Knights look ahead to the 2020 season.
After reading the NJ Advance Media story this morning about this deal finally coming to fruition, I could not help but jump for joy.
Rutgers had initially offered an 8 year, $32 million contract to Schiano, but rumblings of egos clashing between him and Athletic Director Pat Hobbs, were among many behind the scenes reasons why the deal ultimately fell off the table just one week ago. Once reports came out that Schiano was coming back to the negotiating table, I couldn't believe it. Was Rutgers finally getting it's act together? How did they wake up? The fans, boosters, big name donors, media, alum, and yes, former players led the charge.
You may be thinking, why is Schiano, a man who went 68-67 in his eleven season as head coach of Rutgers is the right man for the job. Well, that record is a bit misleading. Take away the 2001 and '02 seasons when he had to completely rebuild a dormant program, his record stands at 65-47 in nine seasons. Not bad eh?
A 5-1 bowl record, including a program record No. 7 ranking during the 2006 season with not nearly the same amount of money, support, facilities, and conference juice as Rutgers now has at it's disposal. Sure, they're not even close to programs such as Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Heck, they're not even Illinois this year, who finished 6-6 and will head to a bowl game.
But here's a guy who's done it before. He has the recruiting ties the entire state of New Jersey. Ask almost any high school coach around the Garden State and they'll give a glowing review of Schiano.
He's learned under Urban Meyer, winning titles. He's respected by New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Just look at all of the Rutgers players on that roster! Don't forget Schiano was initially hired to be the defensive coordinator for Belichick until he decided to withdraw from the position. Maybe he saw Rutgers opening back up? He should play the lottery.
Most importantly, Schiano wanted this job. The Wyckoff, NJ native wanted to come home. Make no mistake, to win at Rutgers, you have to want the job and battle through adversity.
I was never a huge proponent of sequels, but this one I'm willing to watch.