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Rutgers Coaching: What's good enough? Part 2

Yesterday we introduced a question: When do you change coaches? And why? Today we take a look at the fall season.

scarletknights.com

Land Grant Holy Land tweaked us a bit.  But we decided to follow their comments and do our own assessment of our performance as an athletic program.

So, how are we doing?  What is the likelihood of coaching changes, if at all?  Today, and for the next two days, we'll look at the coaches season by season, leaving out football and basketball.  Today, we start with the....

Fall Season

Men's Cross Country / Track & Field

Mike Mulqueen, a five-time BIG EAST Coach of the Year and five-time NCAA District Coach of the Year, is in his 32nd year as head coach of the men's track & field and cross country programs.  Under Mulqueen's guidance, Rutgers has had 26 All-Americans; in that same time period, Purdue (just picked at random as another B1G team) has had 53 All Americans.  Mulquuen has also had 108 BIG EAST Champions and has, in all honesty, had a horrible facility to work with since it was moved out of the stadium in 1992.  2014 Big Ten Finish: Men's Cross Country finished last of 12 teams at the conference championships. The best Scarlet runner was Freshman Luke Wiley, who finished 87th.  Could he do more with better facilities?

Men's Soccer

Dan Donigan completed his fifth year leading Rutgers on the pitch.  In his second season at Rutgers, Donigan helped erase a four-year post-season drought, as Rutgers earned an at-large bid to the 2011 NCAA Tournament, its first since 2006, and ultimately a Sweet 16 spot.  Prior to RU he had nine successful seasons at Saint Louis University, leading the Billikens to seven NCAA appearances and posted a 118-42-23 (.708). Does he have the requisite ability to get the job done?  He's done it elsewhere, so why not here?


Conference

Overall


W-L-T

%

W-L-T

%

8th Pl Rutgers

1-6-1

0.188

6-12-1

0.342

Women's Cross Country / Track & Field

A Rutgers grad, James Robinson is in his ninth year heading the Cross Country and Track & Field programs.  In 2005, Robinson was recognized for his outstanding track record as a coach. He was named the NCAA East Region Assistant Coach of the Year for Sprints/Hurdles by the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. 2014 Big Ten finish: Women's Cross Country finished 12th of 14 teams, ahead of only Nebraska and Maryland.  Junior Paige Senatore was the highest scoring Rutgers runner in 47th place.  The same comment can be plugged in here as for Mulqueen: what could he do with real facilities?

Field Hockey

Meredith Long completed her third season at the helm of the Rutgers field hockey program in 2014 after leading the Scarlet Knights to nine wins in each of her first two seasons.  In 2013, Long led the program to a 9-9 finish, the first. .500 record at season's end for the program since 2008. She sits at 27-27 for her three years at the helm.


Conference

Overall


W-L-T

%

W-L-T

%

7th Place

Rutgers

2-6

0.250

9-10

0.474








Women's Soccer

Completing his first year, Mike O'Neill did very well.  O'Neill, the 2013 NSCAA Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year, is the Director of Coaching for the Players Development Academy (PDA) in Zarepath, N.J., one of the Top Youth Girls Clubs in the Country and Current ECNL Club National Champions.  On the club level he is also the Head Coach of the PDA Slammers, two-time National Champions and current U-17 ECNL National Champions.


Conference

Overall


W-L-T

%

W-L-T

%

4th Rutgers

8-4-1

0.654

13-6-1

0.675

Volleyball

Jeff "CJ" Werneke finished his seventh season at the helm of the Rutgers women's volleyball program in 2014. Prior to being hired as head coach at Rutgers, Werneke had an extremely successful tenure at Fairfield, where he left as the school's all-time winningest coach. In 2007, Werneke broke the 100-win plateau for his career. He was named the 2006 and 2007 MAAC Coach of the Year, and led the Stags to four consecutive MAAC regular season titles. In 2007, Fairfield finished with a 21-13 overall record and a 17-1 mark in conference play.


Overall

Conference


W-L

%

W-L

%

14th Pl  Rutgers

7-26

.212

0-20

.000

So, what does it all mean?

First, I'm not someone who is quick on the trigger to fire anyone.  These people are, well, people, with families and lives away from athletics.  No one should want anyone to lose their job.

There are several of these RU coaches who are relatively new in their jobs (O'Neill and Long) and, certainly with O'Neill, deserve more time to be judged. And in Long's defense, five B1G field hockey teams were in the Top 20 coaches' poll, and three made the 19-team NCAA field, so the conference is tough.  Both cross country coaches have been On the Banks for a while.  The results this year are not what they want; is it good enough for Julie right now?  In volleyball, conference mate Penn State won the national title, and five Big Ten teams were in the Top 25; it is a powerful volleyball conference as only four teams had losing records. But Rutgers plays in the College Ave gym.  Again, how significant are facilities?  Werneke has had one winning season (2012-13), his last in the Big East, and overall is 63-144 at Rutgers.  Julie was a volleyball player and coach; what does she expect?

What do we expect?

Tomorrow: Was it a winter of discontent?