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Rutgers Coaching: When do you call it quits? Part 3

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Our friends in Ohio weren't very subtle in criticizing Rutgers' first Big Ten season. But we'll ask the question, too: when do you change coaches? And why? Today we take a look at the winter season.

scarletknights.com

The fall season was....uh....errr....well....it was erratic.  Record-wise.  Yesterday, we touched on the fall coaches, their history, and maybe whether they need more time.  Today we look at the.....

Winter Season

Men's and Women's Indoor Track

I'll refer you back to yesterday's post on the two coaches, Mike Mulqueen for the men and James Robinson for the women.  Keep in mind that Rutgers has no dedicated indoor facility for track and field; it has use of the bubble (along with every other team) and the RAC for indoor training.

Men at the 2014 B1G Championships: The Knights finished 12th - out of 12 teams - scoring just two points.  Emeka Eze in the long jump and the 4x400m relay team (D'Andre Jordan, Jordan Jimerson, Stuart Tweedie, and Rajee Dunbar) each finished in eighth place, the only scoring for the Knights.

Women at the 2014 B1G Championships: Gabrielle Farquharson captured the Big Ten title in the 200m, and was the runner-up in the long jump and took third in the 60m.  Rutgers finished 12th of 13 teams, scoring 24 points, two ahead of last place Iowa.

Women at the NCAA Championships: Thank goodness for Gabrielle.  She earned Second Team All-American status  in the long jump at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship. It was Farquharson's third All-America distinction, having earned Second Team All-American with the 4x100m relay team and Honorable Mention All-American with the 4x400m relay team at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Wrestling

I'm a bit biased - this is my winter sport.  Completing his eighth season at Rutgers, Scott Goodale had as good a maiden voyage in the Big Ten as most would have expected.  He's led the program to two top-25 and one top-10 finish since 2009.  This year, despite finishing tenth in the conference, the team was pretty much competitive.  The B1G is a beast in wrestling, so finishing as they did ain't too shabby.  They lost to Wisconsin on criteria (wonder how Bo Ryan would have handled that post-game press conference?)  And the home attendance was sixth best in the country.

Conference

Overall

W-L-T

%

W-L-T

%

1st - Iowa*

9-0

1.000

17-1

0.944

2nd - Nebraska

8-1

0.889

14-1

0.933

3rd - Ohio State

8-1

0.889

13-4

0.765

8th - Michigan

4-5

0.444

8-6

0.571

9th - Purdue

3-6

0.333

10-8

0.556

10th - Rutgers

2-7

0.222

14-7

0.667

Gymnastics

Louis Levine, who led Rutgers gymnastics to the NCAA Regionals in 2014, finished his fourth season as the head coach of the Scarlet Knights as the program transitioned to the Big Ten Conference. In guiding RU to a break-through season in 2014, Levine earned both East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Coach of the Year and the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women (NACGC/W) Northeast Region Head Coach of the Year.

Overall

Conference

W-L-T

%

W-L-T

%

10th - Rutgers

12-17

0.414

0-9

0.000

2014 in the Big Ten Championships: Rutgers finished last in the team championships.  All nine teams above Rutgers qualified - as teams - for the NCAA Championships.  Freshman Elizabeth Groden, senior Luisa Leal, and junior Jenna Williams represented Rutgers gymnastics at NCAA Regionals as individual competitors.

Swimming & Diving

As we noted yesterday, this is really going to be Julie's first big hire.  Joe Litterio was on staff when Fred Hill retired two weeks into the season in 2014.  Mike O'Neill, too was on staff when Glenn Crooks left just a month before the soccer season was to start.  So, here is a hire that will have some impact.  Spiniello steadily built the program, this year breaking a total of six school records and sending two Scarlet Knights to NCAAs for the second straight year.

2014 in the Big Ten Championships: The team finished its first Big Ten season with a dual record of 9-1 overall and an 11th place finish at the 2015 Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championship, comfortably ahead of Illinois and Michigan State .  Senior swimmer Greta Leberfinger and freshman Addison Walkowiak represented Rutgers at the 2015 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming and Diving Championship.  But only Nebraska sent fewer competitors (1) to the NCAA from the B1G.

So, what does this mean?

The winter sports, despite poor conference finishes, probably aren't on bad footing.  Levine is growing the gymnastics program, and the B1G is highly competitive.  The same in wrestling; the B1G is incredibly tough, and Goodale seems to at least be going in the right direction.  Swimming is a big hire; I've always questioned if not having a men's program hurts recruiting and the overall program.  And, of course, we keep returning to everybody's favorite sub-topic: facilities.  Not a problem with swimming, but the others all have some issue to address as they recruit.

Tomorrow: The finale - spring blooms...do Rutgers' sports follow suit?