Analysis: Flood's First Coaching Staff

Kyle Flood's first coaching staff has now been complete for one week. Finishing off his full-time, on-field coaches with the hiring of Jim Panagos last week, Flood and his staff are hard at work recruiting the Class of 2013 and preparing for spring football. Preparing for the spring, looks at Flood's staff and why his first month in office was an impressive one.

Kyle Flood has no experience as a head coach, but that did not stop him from making a strong statement in his first month as Rutgers football coach. Securing the best recruiting class in school history in his first week on the job, Flood did not slow down from there.

Flood went right to work hiring his first series of assistants. Despite losing nearly all of last year's staff to NFL positions, Flood finalized his staff in less than a month and did so in style.

So what makes his assistant coaching staff impressive? Balance.

Rutgers has a former head coach, multiple experienced play-callers, NFL coaching and playing experience, strong recruiters, hungry young coaches and seasoned veterans.

"I know the quality of the coaches because I've seen their work on film," Flood said last week. "The three things that don't change are the quality of the person, the quality of the football coach and then, in college football, the natural ties to the state of Rutgers. You can't undervalue any of those three."

With differing backgrounds, there is one major constant for every member of the Rutgers coaching staff — high character.

Priding itself as a family program, Rutgers brings in coaches that, in Flood's opinion, are good people.

"The most important thing to me is the quality of the person," Flood said. "It can sound cliché when you say it over and over again, but I'm just telling you, when I sit with the parents of the recruits and I tell them about the quality of the person and they say, ‘you know coach, when we sat with your coaches we really felt that. We agree with you.' There's no better feeling as a head coach. To me, that was first and foremost. We weren't going to sacrifice that."

In addition to the quality of the person, Flood's top factors are quality coaches and recruiting ties. Both qualities stand out with his assistants.

Led by Robb Smith defensively, Rutgers has three coaches with play-calling experience and a former head coach in linebackers coach Dave Cohen. Cohen won a National Championship with FCS powerhouse Delaware, calling a shutout as the defensive coordinator.

Led by Dave Brock offensively, Rutgers has two coaches with play-calling experience for BCS teams and at 10-year NFL player in tight ends coach Darnell Dinkins.

"In putting together this staff, my focus was much more so on bringing quality people here who are really good football coaches and have strong ties to the state of Rutgers," Flood said. "Anything beyond that, really, was not important to me in terms of where they came from."

In recruiting, every member of the staff has some sort of strong tie to a region recruited by Rutgers.

Galiano and Smith are well-established as Rutgers recruiters. Cohen, Brock, Spence, Panagos and Damian Wroblewski recruited key areas for other programs before coming to Rutgers. Running backs coach Ben Sirmans is an East Orange, N.J., native and Dinkins broke into the NFL with the New York Giants.

"I think the Rutgers football program is in a state right now where we shouldn't have to settle when we're hiring a coach," Flood said. "We shouldn't have to hire a guy who is a really strong football coach who maybe doesn't have really strong recruiting ties to the state of Rutgers. And we shouldn't have to hire a guy with really strong recruiting ties to the state of Rutgers that maybe is not as strong of a football coach. I think Rutgers is a destination job now."

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