With reports ranging anywhere from Greg Schiano under heavy consideration for the Tampa Bay job to a deal being close to finalized, it’s time to take a look at the Rutgers coach, who may not be a household name.
Schiano’s claim to fame is that he took over a struggling Rutgers program in 2001 and has built it into a fairly consistent winner. Schiano’s career record is 68-67, but that’s skewed by losing records in his first four seasons, including 2-9 in 2001 and 1-11 in 2002.
More recently, Schiano has had the Scarlet Knights winning on a much more consistent basis. Rutgers has gone 9-4 in two of the past three seasons and 8-5 in both 2007 and ’08. Schiano’s best season was 2006, when Rutgers went 11-2.
Schiano previously was a candidate for the coaching job at Michigan and his name surfaced in Penn State’s coaching search in recent months.
Schiano, 45, has a reputation for being a builder and that could come in handy in Tampa Bay. The Bucs are coming off a 4-12 season, in which they had the league’s youngest roster.
Schiano doesn’t have deep NFL experience. He was a defensive assistant with Chicago in 1996 and ’97 and became the defensive backs coach in 1998. But the rest of his career has been on the college level.
He did a stint as a graduate assistant at Rutgers in 1989 and filled the same role at Penn State a year later. He then served as defensive backs coach at Penn State from 1991 through ’95, before beginning his time with Chicago.
Schiano was the University of Miami’s defensive coordinator in 1999 and 2000, before taking over at Rutgers.
He played collegiately at Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pa., and coached one year of high school football in New Jersey before beginning his career as a college coach.
Without deep NFL ties and many other teams already filling out their coaching staffs, Schiano’s biggest early challenge could be assembling a quality stable of assistants in Tampa Bay.
I have no idea if Schiano would succeed in Tampa Bay. He lacks the lengthy NFL background of most of the other candidates the Bucs spoke with. But he does have a proven track record as a builder. This looks like one we can't really judge immediately and it's likely Tampa Bay fans aren't running up and down Dale Mabry Highway celebrating right now. But Schiano at least has the potential to make this look like a good hire a couple years down the road.