Greg Schiano is coming back to Rutgers.
AD Pat Hobbs announced Sunday the university and Schiano have reached a contract agreement, a week after talks to bring back the 53-year-old former Scarlet Knights head 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 schools’ 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 school toward improved facilities and infrastructure and 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 was coach at Rutgers from 2001-11. The Scarlet Knights went to a bowl game in 6 of his final 7 seasons.
Rutgers finished off 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 5 games into his 4th season. Ash went 8-32 in 3-plus seasons (3-26 in the Big Ten). After Ash was fired, Schiano was immediately speculated as a candidate to replace him.
Schiano, a New Jersey native, went 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 invite 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 “Welcome back coach @GregSchiano F.A.M.I.L.Y.,” tweeted Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed during a 2010 game while playing for Schiano who left Rutgers in 2012 to become head coach for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but his tenure lasted only 2 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 school to rescind its offer.
Some Tennessee fans cited a deposition given by former Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary, unsealed by the courts in 2016, that alleged Schiano and other Nittany Lions assistants had known Jerry Sandusky had been acting improperly with young boys years before Sandusky was arrested and charged. The claims were never investigated by authorities and Schiano has said he never saw or had reason to suspect any abuse by Sandusky while he was an assistant under Joe Paterno at Penn State from 1990-95.
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’s set to return, facing maybe an even tougher task than the first time around, trying to make Rutgers respectable in the Big Ten.
• South Florida fired coach Charlie Strong after 3 seasons in which the Bulls won fewer games each year. USF made the move 2 days after finishing a 4-8 season with a blowout loss to rival UCF. That left Strong 21-16 overall but 4-14 since starting the 2018 season with 7 straight victories.
The former Texas and Louisville coach was hired by USF to replace Willie Taggart after the 2016 season. Strong led the Bulls to a 10-2 record in that first year in Tampa behind star quarterback Quinton Flowers. After starting 7-0 in 2018, the Bulls ended the season with 6 straight losses, and this season has been filled with lopsided losses.
The 59-year-old Strong, who was a longtime defensive coordinator in the Southeastern Conference with plenty of recruiting ties to the state of Florida, is 74-53 overall in 10 seasons as a head coach.
USF has been playing major college football for 23 years and has had some high-level success, with 10 seasons of 8 victories or more and 10 bowl appearances.
• Mississippi fired football coach Matt Luke, 3 days after his 3rd non-winning season ended with an excruciating rivalry game loss.
Luke, a former Ole Miss offensive lineman, was elevated to interim head coach about two weeks before preseason practice started in 2017 when Mississippi fired Hugh Freeze.
Luke guided the Rebels, who were already banned from the postseason by the NCAA, to a 6-6 record that helped him land a four-year deal through 2021. With the program facing another bowl ban in 2018 and other NCAA sanctions, Luke and the Rebels went 5-7.
Ole Miss finished this season 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the Southeastern Conference, including a 21-20 loss on Thanksgiving night to Mississippi State. Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore scored a potential tying touchdown with seconds left in the Egg Bowl, but was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after he pretended to urinate in the end zone like a dog.
The Rebels’ kicker then missed an extra point that was 15 yards longer than the usual distance because of the penalty.
The 43-year-old Luke is the 3rd Southeastern Conference coach to get fired this season, joining Arkansas’ Chad Morris and Missouri’s Barry Odom, and the 4th head coach around the country to lose his job.
• BOSTON (AP) — Boston College fired coach Steve Addazio on Sunday after 7 seasons in which the Eagles never surpassed 7 wins. Wide receivers coach Rich Gunnell will serve as interim coach.
Addazio was 44-44 since taking over in 2013, reaching bowl eligibility for the 6th time in 7 years after beating Pittsburgh 26-19 on Saturday. The 60-year-old coach spent much of his postgame news conference talking about the program’s future, insisting, “It’s not about me.”
BC won 7 games in 5 of his first 6 seasons, but he could never get the Eagles back to the level they reached in the early 2000’s, when they were often ranked in The AP Top 25 and occasionally playing for a conference championship. This year, they lost to Kansas — a team that hadn’t beaten a Power 5 opponent on the road in 11 years — and needed to beat Pitt in the final regular-season game to qualify for a bowl berth.