The Big East already saw West Virginia Head Coach Rich Rodriguez leave to take the head coaching vacancy at Michigan. On a smaller scale and more local front, Darren Rizzi was named Rhode Island head coach after serving Rutgers as the team's associate head coach, linebacker coach, and special teams coordinator.
RU Head Coach Greg Schiano informed the media on Wednesday that Rizzi
would remain on to coach in the International Bowl after he wrapped up
some duties at Rhode Island.
"I am very happy for Darren and his family," Schiano said in a statement.
"He has done a great job here at Rutgers and I know that he will do a
great job as the head football coach at the University of Rhode Island.
"We will miss him but are very happy for him and his family."
As more coaching vacancies become available and coordinators leave or get
relieved, members of the Scarlet Knights staff are going to be named as
possible candidates to replace those positions. Success breeds other
football programs becoming interested in hiring coaches away that might be
able to bring that same winning mentality to their school. Schiano
himself has been offered both the University of Miami and Michigan head
coaching jobs during the last two years. Both schools have won multiple
national championships, while Rutgers has yet to make a BCS bowl.
Schiano's name is one that will constantly resurface due to his unmatched
success at Rutgers. The once laughable Scarlet Knights are now a
competitive program fielding a team that can play with anybody in the
country. The head man's claim to fame is his ability to do at Rutgers
what none before him had been able to, namely win over the course of time.
He has now brought the Scarlet Knights to their third straight bowl
appearance, something previously thought as an impossible dream for the
New Jersey based school. Schiano has turned that dream into reality.
The loyalty that Schiano has for Rutgers cannot be questioned. In fact, he
turned down more money from Miami to stay "On the Banks."
However, that will not stop other universities from trying to hire
assistant coaches of Schiano to head coaching or coordinator jobs. Rizzi
is the second coach to have worked under Schiano to become a college
football head coach. Mario Cristobal served as the tight ends coach under
Schiano before heading to Miami to take the same role. In 2006, he was
named head coach of Florida International University.
"It is neat," Schiano said. "It is fun when Mario calls me and goes over
stuff. Although I am going to miss Riz, it was fun to help him through the
decision and help him with the right questions to ask."
Currently, it is unclear as to whether any current Rutgers coaches are up
for consideration at any other job. As more head coaches get hired and
fill out their staff, more changes could be on the way. However, Schiano
is not allowing those questions to bother him and rather let these
situations play out.
"You never know, but I think probably," Schiano said, "They are good
coaches. It will all shake out here. This is the season through signing
day when a lot of things happen. I used to worry about it a lot, but now I
am more at peace with it."
Another possible staff adjustment includes the possibility of Schiano
stepping down from his defensive coordinator position to serve only as the
team's head coach.
Schiano has kicked around this idea at different times, but he is taking a
wait-and-see approach with this decision, saying that it is something they
will examine in the months after the bowl game.
"I have to decide what is best for this program," Schiano said. "I don't
think that things have to be all or nothing either. It all depends on how
the staff is put together and the strengths and weaknesses."
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