Greg Schiano won’t be returning to Rutgers because the school and its former football coach were unable to come to an agreement on a deal, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press on Sunday.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because neither side wanted to make the negotiations public. Schiano, who spent 11 seasons at Rutgers before leaving for the NFL in 2012, was offered an eight-year, $32 million contract, with $25 million guaranteed, along with $7.5 million to spend on coaches and football operations staff, according to the person.
The two sides could not agree on what investments into facilities and infrastructure were needed for Rutgers to be able to compete in the Big Ten, the person said.
Nunzio Campanile has been the interim head coach following the firing of Chris Ash five games into his fourth season. Ash went 8-32 in three-plus seasons, including 3-26 in the Big Ten. Rutgers is 2-9 and heading for second straight winless season in the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights finish their season Saturday against No. 12 Penn State.
After Ash was fired, Schiano was immediately speculated as a candidate. Soon after school officials and Schiano’s representatives started looking into a way to bring the 53-year-old New Jersey native back to run the program, which has again fallen on hard times.
Schiano went 68-67 at Rutgers and turned the Scarlet Knights into consistent winners after years of being one of the worst major college football programs in the country. He led them to six bowl appearances in his final seven years. That success helped Rutgers land an invite to the Big Ten, and it joined the lucrative Power Five conference in 2014.
Schiano left Rutgers in 2012 to become head coach for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but his tenure lasted only two 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.
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 quit soon after, deciding instead to take the season off.
With so much attention focused on a possible reunion with Schiano, Rutgers hopes to attract more candidates. But now the school has burned any advantage it might have gained by getting out ahead of the rest of the market and firing Ash in late September.
Northern Colorado football coach Earnest Collins Jr. has been fired after nine seasons.
Athletic director Darren Dunn announced that Collins would not return as the head coach. His teams posted a 28-72 record, including a 2-10 mark this fall.
Collins had been given a five-year contract extension in 2016 and led the team to its first two winning seasons as an FCS program in 2015 and 2016.
During Collins’ time as coach, the team’s academic progress rate improved and the team graduation rate increased from 66% to 82%, the best in the Big Sky Conference during his tenure.
Dunn said it was not an easy decision to make and thanked Collins for his dedication to the student-athletes.
The school has retained a consulting firm to assist with the national search for a new head coach.
Former Tennessee and Central Michigan coach Butch Jones, currently at Alabama, has reportedly interviewed for the job. Former Michigan and UCLA assistant Jedd Fisch, who is an assistant with the Los Angeles Rams, and former Arkansas and Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, now an assistant with the Patriots, also have drawn interest.
Week 14 top games
►Western Michigan at Northern Illinois, 7 (ESPNU)
►Toledo at Central Michigan, noon (ESPNU)
►Cincinnati at Memphis, 3:30 (ABC)
►Ohio State at Michigan, noon (Fox)
►Clemson at South Carolina, noon (ESPN)
►Georgia at Georgia Tech, noon (ABC)
►Alabama at Auburn, 3:30 (CBS)
►Wisconsin at Minnesota, 3:30 (ABC)
►Maryland at Michigan State, 3:30 (FS1)
►Notre Dame at Stanford, 4 (Fox)
►Texas A&M at LSU, 7 (ESPN)
►Colorado at Utah, 7:30 (ABC)
►Oklahoma at Oklahoma State, 8 (Fox)