It’s been just a few days since Rutgers Athletic Director Pat Hobbs pulled the plug on football coach Chris Ash, firing him and Offensive Coordinator John McNulty the day after after a 52-0 loss at Michigan.
But it didn’t take long for the name Greg Schiano to come out as a possible replacement.
Many fans had been taking to social media to clamor for Schiano’s return even before the axe came down on Ash over the weekend.
Schiano is widely remembered for restoring respectability to Rutgers in the early- to mid-2000s, and took the Scarlet Knights to six bowl games in seven years from 2005 through 2011. But it was after that 2011 season – just a few days before National Latter of Intent Signing Day, when the incoming recruiting class was expected to sign – that Schiano bolted for the NFL, taking a job as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Star-Ledger/nj.com sports columnist Steve Politi was quick to the trigger on Monday, advocating for the hiring of Schiano, and several former players have thrown their support behind Schiano, including Khaseem Greene and Logan Ryan. Even Tom Savage, who transferred from Rutgers and at one time sought to return, Tweeted his support Tuesday for Schiano’s return to “the Banks.”
But Schiano is not the only coach being talked about. Other names being mentioned have included Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi, who’s from the Northeast, as well as Joe Moorhead, the head coach of Mississippip State who also has coached in the area at Fordham. Both denied any interest in the job or being contacted by Rutgers when asked by the media this week. Some have also suggested Army’s Jeff Monken as a candidate; his option offense would be an intriguing fit in the Big Ten conference.
Also on the list of names being discussed by fans and media is Butch Jones, the former Tennessee head coach who’s an offensive analyst for Nick Saban at Alabama. Jones was a grad assistant at Rutgers from 1990-92.