Just a week ago, the deal was off. But now, it’s back on again.
Rutgers has reached an agreement to re-hire Greg Schiano, who presided over the most successful stretch of Scarlet Knights football in the program’s 150-year history.
A month-long back-and-forth between Rutgers and its one-time coach finally came to fruition late Saturday night. Just eight days ago, talks broke down over money and facilities improvements that Schiano wanted guaranteed in his contract. But the lack of a deal outraged former players, as well as many fans, alums and big donors, some of whom threatened to pull their donations. Fans on social media promised to give up long-held season tickets.
The backlash proved too much for Rutgers to ignore, furthered by impassioned pleas from people like former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed in a 2010 game against Army — LeGrand and Schiano have remained close ever since — as well as a fundraising campaign online that generated over $300,000 in pledges in just a few days, on the stipulation that Schiano be re-hired. Governor Murphy, who was involved in some of the initial conversations before talks broke down, said he was “monitoring the situation.”
A deal was struck late Saturday night, and now all that remains is for the Board of Governors to give its approval. That’s expected to come at a special meeting set for 10 am Tuesday in New Brunswick, where most of the 14 members are expected to vote by teleconference.
Schiano coached Rutgers from 2000 to 2011, after which he left to become head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL. He took Rutgers to six bowl games in his final seven seasons. He most recently worked in college as defensive coordinator at Ohio State under Urban Meyer before taking the same position with the New England Patriots in the NFL, a position he relinquished after a short time to spend more time on “faith and family.”