Rutgers University promoted assistant Kyle Flood to replace Greg Schiano as football coach after failing to lure former assistant Mario Cristobal from Florida International University, the Newark Star-Ledger said, citing two unidentified people familiar with the situation.
Flood, 41, took the job on an interim basis on Jan. 26, when Schiano was hired as head coach of the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Flood has been at Rutgers since 2005 and interviewed for the full-time position at the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based school over the weekend.
Rutgers turned to Flood as Schiano’s successor yesterday, hours after Cristobal decided to stay at FIU in Miami, where he’s been head coach for five years, the Star Ledger said. Cristobal turned Rutgers down after the sides had come to an agreement on financial terms.
Flood’s hiring comes ahead of the Feb. 1 national signing day, the first chance for high school football players to make an official written commitment to a college under National Collegiate Athletic Association rules.
“It’s an honor that they chose me to be in this role and I’m going to do everything I can to stay in it,” Flood told reporters on Jan. 28. “You’re never ready for your first head coaching job, but I’m as ready as I’m ever going to be. This is 19 years in the making.”
The Scarlet Knights had a 68-67 record in 11 years under Schiano and won five of six bowl games.
In Schiano’s first five years at Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights had one season with more than five wins. In his final six seasons, the team reached the eight-win plateau five times, and went undefeated in five bowl games.
Schiano won national coach of the year honors after the 2006 season, when he led Rutgers to a school-record-tying 11 victories and its first postseason win. Schiano made $2.03 million, including bonuses, from Rutgers in the fiscal year ended in June.
Terms of Flood’s contract weren’t immediately available. Flood coached tight ends and offensive linemen from 2005 until 2008, when he was appointed assistant head coach.
Rutgers is seeking to increase revenue to balance its intercollegiate sports budget. The Rutgers athletic department’s $26.9 million subsidy in fiscal 2010 was the most among the 53 public universities in college football’s biggest conferences, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.
Rutgers’s conference, the Big East, is in the midst of an overhaul. It lost Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia to other Bowl Championship Series leagues and added six other schools in the past six months. Boise State, San Diego State and the Navy joined for football, while Southern Methodist, Central Florida and Houston are members for all sports.
The league needed eight football members to retain its guaranteed berth in one of the five BCS games, which pay the most of the postseason bowl matchups.
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