The Rutgers new head football coach seems eerily similar to the one they hired in 2000. Greg Schiano has returned to bring Rutgers back to football prominence.
In December 2000, the state of Rutgers football was awful, they hired second-ranked Miami’s (FL) defensive coordinator to be their new head coach. That man claimed he would be winning a national championship with the Knights someday. Fast forward 20 years and history repeat itself. Greg Schiano is back, a year removed from being the DC at third-ranked Ohio State and is ready to take RU back to the top.
In a program where it’s very hard to make any progress, Greg Schiano was so successful in his first tenure at Rutgers that he earned himself an NFL head coaching job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Unfortunately, the Bucs are also a very hard team to make any progress with, and his time there only lasted two seasons.
In 2016, Schiano went back to the college game. He took a job as Urban Meyer’s defensive coordinator at Ohio State. Schiano was the mind behind OSU’s dominant defense for those three years and loved coaching against his former team. His defense let Rutgers score a total of three points over his three years in Columbus, OH.
When Meyer retired from OSU after 2018, Schiano left the program as well. The former and as of December 1, 2019, current Scarlet Knights head football coach made headlines by showing up to the Scarlet Knights basketball game against Seton Hall, in mid-December. He told the crowd that with their support, Rutgers will have the best football team in America.
Schiano cited how he was laughed at for these same comments prior to his first head coaching gig in New Jersey. But he also noted that he silenced those critics and brought one of the more lack-luster programs in college football up to the No. 7 ranked team in the country.
This won’t happen again overnight, but there are realistic checkpoints that Schiano can hit early on that will have Rutgers football taken seriously again. Even in a juggernaut conference like the Big Ten.