The Rutgers University Board of Governors has given its approval – unanimously – to the hiring of Greg Schiano as the Scarlet Knights’ new football coach.
Schiano returns to the home of his first head coaching job, where he turned around a dreadful football program, taking it to six bowl games in his final seven years as head caoch.
The contract agreed upon late Saturday night – after the deal was off earlier in the week when the sides couldn’t agree on terms – calls for Schiano to earn $4 million per year over eight years, with various incentives.
Schiano will be introduced to the media at a press conference scheduled for 10:30 Wednesday morning at the Hale Center in Piscataway. WCTC will be there and provide full coverage during a special one-hour Football USA hosted by Mike Pavlilchko that will run from 7-8 pm Wednesday. The show will include press conference audio from Schiano and Athletic Director Pat Hobbs. Guests will include Rutgers radio play-by-play man Chris Carlin, former Scarlet Knights Eric LeGrand and Mike Teel, local high school football coaches Dan Higgins of Piscataway and Mike Cipot of North Brunswick, and others. Mike will also take listener phone calls at 732-545-WCTC (9282).
Here are some of the other details in Schiano’s contract:
Schiano will annual performance bonuses for various achievements. They include $100,000 if Rutgers makes the Big Ten Championship Game, double that if they win it. There are further incentives for bowl game appearances, depending on the type, including the College Football Playoffs and a New Year’s Six bowl appearance. Schiano also would receive bonuses based on the number of season tickets sold above several marks, starting at 20,000.
There are academic bonuses, too, based on where the team ends up in the APR (Academic Progress Rate), which is determined by the NCAA and a snapshot of how student-athletes progress toward graduation.
Stipends and Perks
Schiano will receive a $15,000 stipend for an automobile, and is entitled to $5,000 worth of team athletic apparel. A country club membership is included, but which one is not specified. Schiano reportedly asked for a membership at world-famous Baltusrol in Union County, home of several major golf tournaments over the years.
Reported as one of the holdups during the initial talks between Schiano and Rutgers, he and his spouse and immediate family will be allowed to fly on the team charter to all away games at no cost. He’ll also be availed private air transportation for recruiting, and “if private funding is available, for other required university travel.” Otherwise, he will be entitled to “first-class travel on a commercial airline.”
Seen as a big plus in terms of retention of assistant coaches – a problem in the years since Schiano left in 2012 – the salary pool for the coaching staff will be set at $7.7 million, subject to an increase of “not less than” three-percent annually. The staff does not include medical trainers or anyof the three “non-contracted secretarial staff that support football.”
Should Schiano leave before certain milestones in his contract, he would owe Rutgers varying amounts. If he left before December 1, 2020, he would owe Rutgers $8 million. By the same date in 2022, that number shrinks to $4 million. By 2024, it’s $1 million, with no amount owed after that point.
If terminated without cause, Schiano would be owed an amount “equal to 76.875%” of his remaining annual base salary, not to exceed $24.6 million.
Another stumbling block in the initial negotiations was an upgrade to facilities. Schiano initially wanted a clause allowing him to leave without penalty if certain improvements were not made by 2023. That clause is absent here, but Rutgers acknowledges that “in order to successfully compete in the Big Ten Conference in the sport of football, the University acknowledges that a new football operations center and adjoining multi-sport indoor practice facility would be both necessary and desirable.”
As a result, the contract stipulates that Schiano should be actively engaged in fundraising to support such projects. Though no cost is outlined in the contract, it states that Rutgers should work on drawing up plans as soon as possible, and determine a cost. When at least half of the to-be-determined amount is raised through private donations, the Athletic Department will be permitted to borrow the rest, and the project should begin in “a reasonable time frame.”