Greg Schiano is returning to Rutgers.
Athletic Director Pat Hobbs announced Sunday that the university and Schiano had reached a contract agreement, a week after talks to bring back the 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 university’s 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 two sides could not agree on other financial commitments by the university toward improved facilities and infrastructure. Both indicated they were ready to move on.
After that news broke last Sunday, Rutgers officials faced a wave of criticism from boosters, fans and former players. Schiano, 53, was coach at Rutgers from 2001 to 2011. The Scarlet Knights went to a bowl game in six of his final seven seasons.
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 head coach since the firing of Chris Ash five games into his fourth season. Ash was 8-32 in three-plus seasons, including 3-26 in the Big Ten.
After Ash was fired, Schiano was immediately considered a candidate to replace him.
Schiano, a New Jersey native, was 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 football programs in the country. Success under Schiano helped Rutgers land an invitation to 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.
Schiano left Rutgers in 2012 to become head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the N.F.L., but his tenure lasted only two years. He resurfaced at Ohio State as defensive coordinator. He had reached an agreement to become Tennessee coach in 2017, but a fan mutiny on social media led the university 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 earlier this year. He stepped down soon after, deciding instead to take the season off.
Now he is set to return and facing maybe an even tougher task than the first time around, trying to make Rutgers respectable in the Big Ten.
Credit: The New York Times