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OTB Roundtable: Who Should Be The Next Rutgers Football Coach

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We discuss who new athletic director Patrick Hobbs, BOG chairman Greg Brown, and Rutgers President Robert Barchi should select to lead the football program!

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Ray Ransom: Meet the new boss, same as the old(er) boss. Greg Schiano, the man who brought Rutgers football back from the brink, should absolutely be the next Rutgers football coach. He knows how Rutgers works politically, he has proven success, he knows how to run a clean program, and he is a hell of a defensive coach. I think he'd be even better than Schiano 1.0, as he's gotten much more perspective on football and coaching over the past few years. I think we're looking at a newer, better Greg. Plus, he's already seen how crappy it can be out in the wild. I think if Greg come back for a second tour of duty, he'll be in it for a Frank Beameresque run, where he coaches outstanding football teams until he decides to hang up the clipboard. Al Golden & PJ Fleck are both dynamic, intense coaches who could bring a lot of excitement to the program and have connections to Jersey/Rutgers. Cristobal is great too, but I like Northeastern coaches. Lots of very, very good options on the horizon, but Schiano is head and shoulders the best option for Rutgers.

Aaron Breitman: I would like to see Mario Cristobal get the job.  He is very well connected with high school coaches in New Jersey and Florida, was named recruiter of the year by multiple services for 2015, has head coaching experience, has worked under Nick Saban, and is young enough that he could be at Rutgers a very long time.  He took a program at FIU and made something out of nothing.  Cristobal would create immediate buzz in the recruiting world and carry more clout then Flood ever did. He reportedly turned down the job before it was given to Flood and that may have been a blessing.  Having grown his profile while at Alabama, he learned firsthand how to run a major college football program from one of the best.  Now that Rutgers is in the Big Ten, I hope he comes back to Rutgers and makes his own legacy. As for Schiano, I have mixed feelings and worry he would say all the right things before falling back into dictator mode. I wouldn't be against him coming back, but think Cristobal makes more sense. If Rutgers does go outside the family, I think UCONN head coach Bob Diaco makes a lot of sense, being a Jersey guy and former Big Ten player.

Dave White: I just can't see Greg Schiano coming back. I'm not anti-Schiano at all. In fact, I really liked the job he did here as a coach, and think that--before he left--he was well-positioned to have one of the best years at the school. It seemed like 2006 was about to be re-done in 2012, but Schiano left before that could happen. But for some reason, I don't get the sense Greg wants to tread on the same ground again. I have no inside information, no idea--honestly. It's just a gut feeling. Instead, my gut is telling me otherwise. Mario Cristobal seems to be the other name of choice, finally coming to Rutgers as the boss. Otherwise, Al Golden seems to be runner up. I don't expect PJ Fleck here either, unless things go really bad.

Griffin Whitmer: Bring back Greg! With the hire of Hobbs as permanent AD, it is clear that Rutgers is going in the direction of "Let's not hire anyone who could f*ck up too bad". Schiano is without a doubt the safest option who can step in and immediately fix the things that Kyle Flood struggled with. Schiano runs a tight ship and there would definitely be minimal off the field issues. For once, Rutgers would play defense in a conference where defense wins championships (Iowa, Michigan State). In addition, Schiano screams "B1G Coach" to me and certainly belongs at Rutgers and deserves to come back and get this team to where it needs to be in the coming years. Under Schiano, it is not a rebuilding phase, it is a "get the team's crap together and win".

Bob Cancro: No Greg.  Not no way, not no how.  You can't go home again.  If he'sso wonderful, why is he not on more lists of potential coaches?  How else can I say it?  Seriously, for me, he has not proven that he can win at this level -- either the old level or the new level that Rutgers finds itself now.  He raised the program, granted, and then....plateaued.  And got out of Dodge before we caught on.  Okay, got that out of my system.  Barchi has said money will not be an issue; to me that says that Barchi has come to the realization (albeit late) that athletics at a Division 1 school is not a bad thing.  So, if the wallet is open, go forth with gusto.  Why not at least ask Mark Richt; the worst he can say is no.  Go ahead and try for Rhule or Diaco.  Diaco, despite starting slow, is getting traction at UConn; how much better would he be selling the Big Ten rather than the AAC?  Al Golden is a relatively safe choice; a guy with recruiting skills, ties to the area, and a "name".  And I'm still a believer that someone like Everett Withers at JMU could be a great asset at Rutgers.  JMU wants to go FBS, and they hired him with that in mind.  So, there are a few options, any of which would work.

Scott Logan: Fingers crossed for Schiano. Prior to Flood's dismissal, I was afraid Rutgers would be too hesitant to spend money to bring in an established coach. It's happened before - one of the main reasons Flood was promoted in the first place was his modest price tag. But hearing the reports that Barchi told the players money won't be an issue when hiring a new coach, I really think Schiano's return is a possibility. He's brought this program out of the dumpster before, he's an excellent recruiter, and he runs a tight ship, so the off-the-field distractions that plagued this season will hopefully be a thing of the past. I'd love to see Schiano lead this team once again, and maybe bring Cristobal aboard as his OC. Cristobal turned a horrible FIU team into something respectable, and is known to be a strong recruiter as well. If Schiano passes up a return, Cristobal is a fine back-up plan. I'd also be fine with Golden, Rhule, Fleck or Moglia, but Schiano and Cristobal represent my no-brainer top two.

Andy Egan: I am on board with Cristobal, and I'm not sure I understand the counter-argument. In Cristobal, I see a young dynamic head coach who can make a splash with recruits, has a solid existing relationship with high school coaches in the area, and spent the last two years learning every day from one of the most successful, process-and-detail-oriented coaches ever to prowl a sideline in Nick Saban, while winning a recruiting award. Granted, recruiting at Alabama is . . . uh  . . . different than recruiting in Piscataway, but someone who can sell can do it anywhere. His record at FIU was, by the numbers, mediocre, but he took over what was essentially an expansion team and made them respectable in short order. I bet he brings a few of his Alabama and south Florida assistant buddies with him, and puts together a very solid staff if he comes to RU, maybe keeping some combo of Norries, Camp and/or Paganos. If we're truly looking to wrap this up by Friday, I don't think MC is the guy, because Alabama has that pesky SEC championship thing to win Saturday. If we can wait to Sunday, I think Super Mario is the man. I consider him to be a high-floor, unknown-ceiling candidate.  I am also highly intrigued by Bob Diaco. Of anyone we are currently talking about, I think Diaco has the chance to be the next Tom Herman-type candidate, who rises to the top of the profession from an assistant job a few years ago. I like him better than Rhule Fleck and Moglia, from the current-head coach bracket.