Numerous reports have linked Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano to the Buccaneers' head-coaching vacancy. ESPN reported Schiano and Tampa Bay are in the process of working out contract details.
As the last NFL team without a head coach, the Buccaneers' nearly month-long search may soon be coming to an end. Last Sunday, Oregon coach Chip Kelly was very close to becoming Tampa Bay’s next coach before backing out at the last minute, and now reports of another college coach – Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano – will be hired as Tampa Bay’s ninth coach in franchise history.
Schiano’s name came out of the blue on Monday morning and was first reported by WDAE 620’s Darek Sharp around 9:30 a.m. WDAE and Sharp did not confirm that the hiring was imminent. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Schiano would be the Buccaneers next coach after the Glazers received a glowing endorsement from Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Schiano reportedly also interviewed with the St. Louis Rams earlier in January. The Buccaneers did not return calls to PewerReport.com to either confirm or deny the report.
Schiano’s coaching career began as a graduate assistant with Rutgers and Penn State before becoming the Nittany Lions’ defensive backs coach in 1991. After five seasons in Happy Valley, Schiano joined the professional coaching ranks with the Chicago Bears serving as a defensive assistant with the Bears for three seasons before joining the Miami Hurricanes as their defensive coordinator for two seasons beginning in 1999.
As the top defensive play-caller in Miami, the Hurricanes were 12th in the NCAA in scoring defense then the following season finished 5th in the nation. The improvement and defensive style of the Hurricanes caught the attention of the administration at Rutgers University, and in 2001, Schiano was named the Scarlet Knights head coach.
After a rough start at Rutgers, Schiano turned the lowly Scarlet Knights program around, and since 2006, he has a 49-28 record including a 5-1 bowl record. Schiano helped Rutgers to its first bowl win in school history, a 37-10 triumph over the Josh Freeman-led Kansas State Wildcats in the Texas Bowl in 2006. Rutgers finished 12th in the polls that year, which is the highest final ranking in school history.
Schiano won the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award, the Walter Camp Coach of the Year award, the Home Depot Coach of the Year award, the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award and the Big East Coach of the Year award in 2006 after leading the Scarlet Knights to a university-best 11-2 record.
Schiano's overall record at Rutgers is 68-67 and the Scarlet Knights have been in bowl games in six of the last seven years.
Schiano has helped several of his Scarlet Knights make a successful transition to the NFL, including running back Ray Rice (Baltimore), cornerback Devon McCourty (New England), wide receiver Kenny Britt (Tennessee) and guard Jeremy Zuttah (Tampa Bay), defensive end George Johnson (Tampa Bay) among others.
PewterReport.com will have more on this story as it develops.– Scott Reynolds contributed to this report
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