Buccaneers Make Rutgers’ Schiano Head Coach With Five-Year Deal

Greg Schiano
Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Greg Schiano. Photographer: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Greg Schiano is leaving Rutgers University for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, becoming the first college coach to jump to a leading position in the National Football League this offseason.

Schiano, 45, and the Buccaneers agreed today on a five-year deal, the team announced on its website. Financial details of the agreement weren’t disclosed. He replaces Rahim Morris, who was fired after a 4-12 season.

A native of Wyckoff, New Jersey, Schiano leaves the school as it tries 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.

In 11 years with the Scarlet Knights, Schiano was 68-67, leading the program to its first postseason bowl victory and a No. 12 final national ranking in 2006, the highest ever for the team. He was defensive coordinator for the University of Miami in 1999 and 2000, building a defense that allowed a conference-best 15.5 points a game and helped the Hurricanes finish No.2 in the nation.

“He built and ran a pro-style program at Rutgers, and he’s a defensive-minded coach whose teams have always been characterized by toughness and a physical style of play,” Tampa Bay General Manager Mark Dominik said on the team’s website.

Rutgers athletic department spokesman Jason Baum did not return a voicemail seeking comment on the contractual details of Schiano’s departure.

Schiano made $2.03 million, including bonuses, from Rutgers in the fiscal year ended in June. His contract also got him an $800,000 interest-free home loan from the school with $100,000 forgiven each year.

Big East Overhaul

Rutgers’s conference, the Big East, is in the midst of an overhaul. It lost three football members and added six others -- none from the six Bowl Championship Series leagues -- in the past six months.

The Buccaneers fired Morris after losing their final 10 games and allowing a league-high 494 points. Tampa Bay, which is scheduled to pick fifth in April’s NFL draft, has made the playoffs twice since winning the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season.

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.

Bowl Victory

That run included the 2006 season, when Schiano led Rutgers to a school-record-tying 11 victories and won National Coach of the Year honors. The team beat Kansas State in the Texas Bowl, the program’s first postseason victory.

Schiano was 5-1 in bowl games, including a 27-13 victory against Iowa State in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium last month.

The Big East lost Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia last year to other BCS conferences, and added Boise State and San Diego State for football, and Southern Methodist, Central Florida and Houston for all sports. This week Navy, previously an independent, announced its intention to join for football, which will bring the conference’s membership in that sport to 12 by 2015.

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.

Schiano was an assistant with Penn State University, the Chicago Bears of the NFL and Miami before being hired at Rutgers. He and former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman were the two coaches invited for a second interview by the Bucs, according to ESPN.

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