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Ex-Bucs coach Greg Schiano to return to Rutgers as coach

Schiano coached the Scarlet Knights from 2001-11, and helped them get into the Big Ten, before leaving for the Bucs job.
 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano walks the sideline during the second quarter as the Buccaneers play the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, December 29, 2013.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano walks the sideline during the second quarter as the Buccaneers play the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, December 29, 2013. [ WALLACE, DANIEL | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Dec. 1, 2019|Updated Dec. 2, 2019

Greg Schiano is coming back to Rutgers.

Athletic director Pat Hobbs announced Sunday the university and Schiano coach had reached a contract agreement, a week after talks to bring back the 53-year-old former Scarlet Knights and Bucs coach fell apart.

“The next great chapter for Rutgers football is about to begin,” Hobbs said in a statement.

The contract must be approved by the schools’ board of governors. It is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the hiring.

Hobbs called the negotiations complex.

“It wouldn’t be appropriate to prejudge any action that the board of governors may take, but I believe today that Rutgers Football is on the path to greatness,” Hobbs said.

Rutgers had offered Schiano an eight-year contract worth $32 million, but the sides could not agree on other financial commitments by the school toward improved facilities and infrastructure, and both indicated they were ready to move on.

After that news broke a week ago Sunday, Rutgers officials faced a wave of criticism from boosters, fans and former players. Schiano was the coach at Rutgers from 2001-11. The Scarlet Knights went to a bowl game in six of his final seven seasons.

Schiano left Rutgers in January 2012 to become the Bucs’ head coach, replacing fired Raheem Morris. The Buc went 7–9 record in 2012 and 4-12 in 2013. Schiano was fired on December 30, 2013, along with Mark Dominik, the general manager who had hired him.

Schiano resurfaced at Ohio State as defensive coordinator. He had reached an agreement to become Tennessee’s coach in 2017, but a fan mutiny on social media led the school to rescind its offer.

Schiano left Ohio State after last season when the Buckeyes struggled on his side of the ball, and briefly took a job as an assistant with the New England Patriots this year. He stepped down soon after, deciding instead to take the season off.

Rutgers finished a 2-10 season, 0-9 in the Big Ten, on Saturday with a loss at Penn State. Nunzio Campanile has been the interim coach since the firing of Chris Ash five games into his fourth season. Ash went 8-32 in three-plus seasons, including 3-26 in the Big Ten.

Schiano, a New Jersey native, went 68-67 at Rutgers and turned the Scarlet Knights into consistent winners in the old Big East after years of being one of the worst major-college programs in the country. Success under Schiano helped Rutgers land an invitation to join the Big Ten, and it joined the lucrative Power Five conference in 2014.

After news of Schiano’s return broke, there was a positive response from alumni and former players.

“Welcome back coach @GregSchiano F.A.M.I.L.Y.,” tweeted Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed during a 2010 game while playing for Schiano.