UPDATE: Rutgers officially announced the hiring of Cory Robinson as cornerbacks coach, as well as a surprise role as pass game coordinator (defensive).
“We are excited to have Cory and his family join our program,” said Ash. “Cory is a fast rising young coach that will bring tremendous energy and passion to our defense. We look forward to having him develop and mentor our corners.”
ORIGINAL STORY from February 19th:
It didn’t take head coach Chris Ash very long to replace Henry Baker, who left for North Carolina, as defensive backs coach. Just three days later, Bobby Deren of Rivals reported that Ash is expected to hire Temple assistant Cory Robinson.
Before Rutgers reportedly hired Indiana’s Noah Joseph to replace Bill Busch, we mentioned Robinson as a potential candidate for the that same job. With Baker leaving, Ash was able to hire two new coaches in the secondary.
Robinson helped Temple become the top pass defense in the AAC this past season, his lone year as defensive backs coach for the Owls. He was at Toledo in 2016 in the same role and was director of player personnel at Maryland before that. The former defensive back at Central Connecticut State also coached in the high school ranks, including at Calvert Hall in Maryland.
The defensive coaching staff is almost completely new from last season, as Rutgers begins spring practice in early March. The lone holdover is defensive coordinator Jay Niemann. New additions include Corey Brown with the defensive line, Toby Neinas at outside linebackers, in addition to working with the specialists. Noah Joseph and now Cory Robinson will work together in the secondary. It’s likely Joseph will coach the safeties, which he did at Indiana, and Robinson will coach the cornerbacks, the same role he held at Toledo and Temple.
From a recruiting standpoint, it seems that Rutgers made two strong additions with Joseph and Robinson, based on past results and territories they cover. Robinson has experience with Maryland/Washington D.C. and South Jersey, an area of need for Rutgers. On the coaching side, poaching one assistant from a division rival and adding an up and coming one as well seems promising. Adding Neinas and Joseph give Ash two coaches he has known and worked with for a long time. Despite all the changes, Ash and Niemann maintain continuity and stability with the defense, which has been the strength of the team the past two seasons. With these additions to the secondary, the two new assistants could make a positive impact on the player development side as well next season.
Watch this video of Robinson speak on his coaching philosophy while he was at Toledo.