Track record of New Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano shows revival, development

Published Jan. 29, 2012

Fans of the Bucs are about to find out what kind of coach Greg Schiano will be for their team. Let's take a look at what kind of coach he has been for other teams. ¶ Here are Schiano's greatest hits.

Turning Rutgers into a relevant program

Everyone talks about how Schiano turned around the program at Rutgers, but let's take a moment to study just how awful the program was before Schiano arrived in December 2000.

In the five seasons before, Rutgers was 11-44, including seasons of 0-11 and 1-10. The Scarlet Knights were nobodies, a team other programs would try to schedule for homecoming. In 135 years of football, Rutgers had reached one bowl game.

Schiano started his Rutgers career 2-9, 1-11, 5-7, 4-7.

Those were the days any decent player from New Jersey would pack his helmet and cleats and head to Penn State or Notre Dame, or maybe Syracuse. Rutgers? You cannot be serious.

But Schiano began loosening Penn State's stranglehold on New Jersey recruiting. He started dipping into the deep recruiting pool of Florida. Finally, in 2005, Schiano turned the corner. The Scarlet Knights went 7-5.

Over the next six seasons, the Scarlet Knights went 49-28. Throw out one hiccup season of 4-8 and Schiano's record from 2006 to 2011 was 45-20. Under Schiano, Rutgers went to six bowl games, winning the last five.

Don't underestimate how difficult it was to turn Rutgers around and how impressively Schiano did it.

"The Rutgers football program is stronger than it has ever been,'' Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti said, "and is built to last.''

Developing NFL players at Miami

Check out some of the players who played for Schiano when he was a defensive coordinator at the University of Miami: from top left to bottom, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Ravens free safety Ed Reed and retired NFL linebacker Dan Morgan.

"Playing under him, I learned a ton,'' Morgan told "I give him most of the credit for really developing my football intelligence. From my junior year to my senior year, I started really seeing the game and anticipating things, and that's all due to Greg's influence.''

Developing NFL players at Rutgers

Those who played for Schiano at Rutgers are scattered throughout the NFL, players including, from top right to bottom, Ravens running back Ray Rice, Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt, Colts linebacker Gary Brackett, Bucs guard Jeremy Zuttah and Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty. In all, 16 players were drafted during Schiano's tenure.

"He was always professional while I was there,'' McCourty said, "and that's how he ran the program.''

McCourty is one of four Rutgers players in the New England organization.

"I think they are very pro ready,'' Patriots coach Bill Belichick says about players who played for Schiano.

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That makes sense. Schiano ran the Rutgers program like an NFL team. Schiano said he would cram a full day of NFL work and structure into the time allotted by the NCAA. As a result, his players were used to the way things are done at the NFL level.

"Guys that come out of that program, when they get to the NFL, most of them make it,'' Belichick said. "They may not be first-round picks or whatever, but if they have enough talent to really compete in the NFL, most of them end up staying in, one way or another.''

Miami Nice

In his two seasons as defensive coordinator at the University of Miami, Schiano orchestrated one of the best defenses in college football.

During Schiano's first season as coordinator, 1999, the Hurricanes' defense finished 12th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing an average 17.2 points per game. It didn't allow a passing touchdown in the final 27 quarters of the season, a span of nearly seven games.

In 2000, Schiano's defense was better, allowing 15.5 points per game, fifth in the nation. It also finished among the top five in the nation in takeaways in both seasons.

In the classroom

Schiano's influence carried off the field and into the classroom at Rutgers. A scholar himself who went to Bucknell, Schiano made a career choice that went against his instinct and his family's wishes.

"My parents paid for me to go to Bucknell,'' Schiano said. "So my father was like, 'I just put all that money out for you to be a coach?' But he said, 'If that's what you're passionate about, go do it.' "

That didn't mean Schiano abandoned his scholarly beliefs. He made academics a high priority at Rutgers.

The football team at Rutgers had the No. 1 ranking in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate in 2010 and was No. 2 in 2011. That means athletes are moving toward graduation.

tom jones' two cents