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Sport Our advice for Greg Schiano as he returns as Rutgers football coach

21:31  03 december  2019
21:31  03 december  2019 Source:   northjersey.com

Greg Schiano takes swipe at Tennessee fans during Rutgers introduction

  Greg Schiano takes swipe at Tennessee fans during Rutgers introduction Greg Schiano’s journey back to Rutgers has been a bit of a roller coaster, and the low point for him was likely when he agreed to become the head coach at Tennessee only to see the deal fall through. Two years later, Schiano is willing to look back on that and laugh.© Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY SportsSchiano took a shot at Tennessee fans during his introductory press conference with Rutgers on Wednesday. He was asked about fans celebrating the fact that he has returned to New Jersey as opposed to when a fan revolt scuttled his hire at Tennessee.

The to-do list Greg Schiano has put together for his second stint as Rutgers football coach is longer than Shaquille O’Neal’s arms.

Greg Schiano in a red shirt: Greg Schiano, on the first day of Rutgers training camp in 2009, figures to be in the mix as athletic director looks to decide on his next head coach© FILE PHOTO Greg Schiano, on the first day of Rutgers training camp in 2009, figures to be in the mix as athletic director looks to decide on his next head coach

Welcome back to the Big Ten Conference, Coach.

In the season you sat out after a two-year run as Ohio State’s co-defensive coordinator, nothing much has changed. Ohio State is still on top of the toughest conference not named the SEC, with Michigan still trying to figure out how it can wrestle the mantle away from the Buckeyes.

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And, oh yes, Rutgers was at the bottom of the Big Ten East, unable to win a game.

The coach who rescued RU the first time has an even tougher assignment this time around. Let’s not forget that the now-defunct Big East Conference was never in the same college football class as the Big Ten.

That, however, should never diminish what Schiano pulled off. He resurrected a program that was near the bottom of Division I, and brought it to a ranking as high as No. 7 in the national polls.

But a ranking like that is a pipe dream right now. Schiano has a lot of hard work ahead of him as he first tries to make the Scarlet Knights even relevant in the Big Ten.

Here’s a look at the task ahead and what Schiano must do:

Report: Rutgers, Greg Schiano could try to salvage head coaching deal

  Report: Rutgers, Greg Schiano could try to salvage head coaching deal Several prominent boosters have threatened to stop supporting the program over the Schiano debacle, and some have been calling for athletic director Pat Hobbs to be fired. NJ.com reports that some of them are convinced Hobbs never wanted to hire Schiano in the first place and sabotaged the contract negotiations after being forced to interview him.Schiano is said to have made some significant demands in talks with Rutgers, which include a fully guaranteed contract worth $32 million over eight years in addition to a guarantee that the school will upgrade its football facilities.

1. Quick recruiting fix

The early signing period begins Dec. 18, so Schiano has a short amount of time to turn some recruits. Until they sign their letters of intent, all recruits are fair game.

Annually, a decent bunch of three-star-and-higher players change their minds. Let’s not forgot that Saquon Barkley verbally committed to Rutgers before changing to Penn State, and so did current Wisconsin star running back Jonathan Taylor.

Schiano desperately needs a quarterback or two, at the very least, to provide competition at the position. With the late start, Schiano might have to settle for a junior college transfer who can fill the position for a season or two while the coach comes up with a high school answer.

Plus a little bit of luck wouldn’t hurt. Ray Rice, arguably the best player in Rutgers history, was ready to go to Syracuse out of high school until the Orange fired coach Paul Pasqualoni. Rice then turn to RU.

An 8-year contract and unlimited jet use among Greg Schiano’s reported demands from Rutgers

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2. Keep New Jersey’s finest here

a football player holding a baseball bat: Arguably the best quarterback in Rutgers history, Mike Teel was a two-star recruit out of Don Bosco Prep. (Photo: File photo) Arguably the best quarterback in Rutgers history, Mike Teel was a two-star recruit out of Don Bosco Prep. (Photo: File photo)

Bob Mulcahy, the athletic director who hired Schiano in 2000, once joked that Rutgers was going to build a wall around New Jersey so Joe Paterno and Penn State couldn’t steal New Jersey’s best high school prospects.

That, of course, never happened, but let’s not forget that Schiano tapped into Don Bosco Prep, the top high school program in the state at the time, and came away with Mike Teel, Gary Nova, Leonte Carroo and Darius Hamilton. He beat out Miami, Pittsburgh and other high-level programs.

FOR SUBSCRIBERS: Will Greg Schiano be able to get New Jersey's top recruits?

To do that again, Schiano must reintroduce himself to the state’s premier high school coaches, many of whom are at the same schools he encountered them 10 or more years ago. Many of them have already publicly endorsed Schiano, grateful that Rutgers coaches again will be in contact with them, which other staffs rarely did.

Keeping Jersey players home has long been a goal of Rutgers coaches. But Schiano has been the only one to be somewhat successful.

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  Report: Schiano agrees to become Rutgers coach After some back-and-forth negotiations, Greg Schiano appears headed back to Rutgers. © Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY SportsSchiano has agreed to a deal in principle to serve as Rutgers’ football coach, Yahoo’s Pete Thamel reported on Saturday. The saga between both sides lasted about a month. Early in November, a report said that Schiano could be hired that week. Then there was talk that Schiano’s demands were significant and preventing a deal. A week ago, a report said the two sides were unable to come to a deal.

3. Establish a solid coaching staff

a man wearing a football uniform: Nov 30, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights interim head coach Nunzio Campanile walks on the field during a warmup prior to the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports© Matthew OHaren, Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports Nov 30, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights interim head coach Nunzio Campanile walks on the field during a warmup prior to the game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Use the extra money you negotiated for assistants' salaries to good use. Especially important are your choices as offensive and defensive coordinators. And while your defensive background is an asset, don’t try to be a full-time coordinator.

You have enough on your plate.

Just a suggestion: keep Nunzio Campanile on your offensive staff. The former Bergen Catholic coach has recruiting ties to the state, and his handling of his interim head coaching status after Chris Ash was fired was a textbook example of grace under fire.

But don’t stop there. Campanile’s brother, Anthony, is the linebackers coach and recruiter at Michigan, and was considered a potential candidate for Rutgers, when both sides were cooling off after the first round of negotiations.

Let’s have a staff that doesn’t need directions to drive to St. Peter’s Prep, Don Bosco, Bergen Catholic, or Piscataway, because they already know their way around the state.

Sources: Greg Schiano, Rutgers agree in principle on eight-year deal

  Sources: Greg Schiano, Rutgers agree in principle on eight-year deal Sources: Greg Schiano, Rutgers agree in principle on eight-year dealThe contract is expected to be finalized soon, and it caps a wild week that saw talks break off, former governors dueling and enough plot twists to make “Sopranos” screenwriters dizzy.

4. Patience, patience, patience

This is a long-range assignment, so as long as it might take, the head coach needs to be the rock everybody can lean on.

Remember, the head coach is the face of the program. He’s out there in front of the cameras after games, and he’s the most recognizable face when he shows up at a school to recruit.

Even with his reluctance to do so (which didn’t make him an exception), Schiano performed these duties well in his first go-round.

He needs to keep this in the back of his mind because it probably is going to get worse this time before it gets better.

5. Be yourself, not somebody else

Greg Schiano and Rutgers have reached a contract agreement that brings the 53-year-old former Scarlet Knights head coach back to Piscataway. (AP Photo/Bill Feig, File)© The Associated Press Greg Schiano and Rutgers have reached a contract agreement that brings the 53-year-old former Scarlet Knights head coach back to Piscataway. (AP Photo/Bill Feig, File)

Like most Division I head coaches, Schiano can be tough to deal with at times. He’s a control freak and he mandates his stamp of approval be on everything associated with the program.

Since he has so much to do to revive RU, he needs to delegate more authority and needs to patch up some relationships, especially with athletic director Pat Hobbs, who has proven to be an excellent fundraiser, a trait Schiano can put to good use as he tries to build more on-campus facilities.

While I never thought Schiano was an X's-and-O's genius, give him credit: his teams play hard for him.

His work ethic is off the charts, but never expect any lengthy newspaper or television profiles of him. That’s not his style.

What the public didn’t see most impressed me the last time around. I attended the post-game news conference in which a teary-eyed Schiano had to detail the severity of Eric LeGrand’s injury, suffered against Army at then-New Meadowlands Stadium in 2010.

What some of the public didn’t know was that Schiano, for several months to follow, would leave Piscataway at the end of practices daily and drive to Hackensack University Medical Center to lift LeGrand’s spirits.

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Our advice for Greg Schiano as he returns as Rutgers football coach

Source: Greg Schiano, Rutgers fail to come to agreement on coaching job .
Source: Greg Schiano, Rutgers fail to come to agreement on coaching jobRutgers officials interviewed Schiano on Nov. 5 near Columbus, Ohio, and he’s been the prohibitive favorite to return to the school where he coached from 2001 to 2011. During that meeting, Schiano detailed a list of potential expenditures that he felt would be the minimum for the school to become competitive in the Big Ten East. This included staff salaries, support staff salaries and facilities upgrades — all of which Rutgers is lagging in, far behind its Big Ten peers.

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