Commentary: Flood Ready to be Interim Coach

Any athletic director worth his paycheck is prepared for doomsday situations like yesterday's departure of head coach Greg Schiano to the NFL. Athletic director Tim Pernetti acted swiftly and efficiently by promoted Kyle Flood to interim head coach for stability. Flood, a seven-year Rutgers staff member, is exactly what the school needs in a time of confusion.

Coming from a successful stint at FCS powerhouse Delaware, Kyle Flood has been a member of the Rutgers family since before the turn of the program in 2005. Flood played a key role in transitioning the program from cellar-dweller to media darling in 2006 and he is the right man for the current role as interim head coach of the Scarlet Knights.

Whether or not Flood is the best choice for fulltime head coach remains to be seen — sources tell he will interview this weekend — but in a time of crisis, Flood is the best prepared to keep the program stable and moving forward.

"He handled it like a pro," said athletic director Tim Pernetti on Flood. "He handled it like a veteran. A lot of the reason that we are moving Kyle into that position is that he has been here a long time. He has great relationships with the players. He has great relationships with recruiting."

One of the immediate concerns for the remaining Rutgers staff members comes in recruiting with National Signing Day now five days away.

Pernetti, in a sense, declared martial law but putting himself on the coaching staff to help recruit. Many top players have already publicly stated their interest in sticking with the Scarlet Knights and current players are reaching out to recruits to keep them in the loop.

All steps in the right direction, but promoting Flood to interim head coach is the smartest move of all in keeping what could be the best class in school history intact.

Flood was instrumental in securing verbal commitments from many top recruits this year and has relationships across the "State of Rutgers" dating back seven years. Putting offensive linemen Anthony Davis, Kevin Haslam, Cam Stephenson, Darnell Stapleton and Jeremy Zuttah on active 53-man rosters in the last five years is something recruits cannot ignore.

"Already, we've had some impromptu meetings, he has embraced it," Pernetti said. "He's excited to do it. The first thing out of his mouth was, ‘I'm going to get the staff together and we're going to figure out how to get this class in here.' So far, so good. Kyle has been around here a long time and it was just an obvious choice."

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