The Rutgers Football program continues to add top in-state coaching talent. Today it was reported first by ESPN that current Princeton Associate Head Coach Andrew Aurich will be named the offensive line coach for the Scarlet Knights. Aurich served as the Tigers’ offensive coordinator in 2019 since the departure of ... you guessed it, Sean Gleeson. Aurich remained in his role coaching the offensive line and as recruiting coordinator for Princeton.
Rutgers made the hiring official later in the day and head coach Greg Schiano made the following statement:
“Andrew and I have worked together both on the college and professional level,” said Schiano. “I admire his passion and dedication to coaching and developing players. He also spent several seasons with coach Gleeson and that relationship will be important in creating alignment on the offense. Andrew comes in with a unique perspective having coached several positions on offense, including as a play caller. We are excited to have him and his family rejoin the Rutgers staff.”
Aurich came all the way from Woodbury, Minnesota to play as a two-year starter on the offensive line at Princeton. Following his college career, Andrew entered the coaching ranks at Concordia Academy where he played his high school ball. From there he worked at Albright with Tight Ends and as assistant recruiting coordinator before stints on Greg Schiano’s staff at RU and in Tampa Bay. After that Andrew served in a variety of roles with Princeton (RB, TE, OL) before ending up with so much on his plate this past year, winning plenty of games along the way.
This is an excellent hire on the offensive side because Gleeson and Aurich worked together and had success at Princeton. The fastest path for Rutgers to return to being a competent offense is to lean on its running game which can come up to speed faster than its passing attack since there are less components. Without superior talent in the trenches, execution needs to be flawless and the experience working with Gleeson in the recent past should expedite the learning curve for Aurich’s group. It’s good to have a second coach familiar with the terminology and base packages Gleeson intends to use.
Andrew inherits a group that allowed a low number of sacks, mostly because Rutgers threw the ball on a low percentage of an already low number of offensive snaps. His group at Princeton was equally successful statistically in pass protection. The bigger issue is figuring out how to utilize existing personnel to open up some holes in the run game. Gleeson figured this out at Oklahoma State, but the Big Ten is more physical in the trenches than the Big 12, so it will take all the brainpower Rutgers can muster to get it done.
There is also good value here in recruiting. Princeton has been securing good talent en route to their recent success and Aurich is their recruiting coordinator. Even if he does not serve in that role at Rutgers, it’s clear that Schiano is ensuring he has many people who are good, experienced recruiters as possible to rebuild this program. Aurich also worked with Schiano in Tampa Bay, so he won’t be blindsided by the intensity, attention to detail, and focus on development we should see at Rutgers the next few years.
Aurich joins Schiano, Gleeson, Nunzio Campanile, Tiquan Underwood, Fran Brown, and Jim Panagos as the coaches officially confirmed for 2020 on field staff. It’s also been reported that Bob Fraser will return after the conclusion of the New England Patriots season. Kolby Smith also remains as a holdover from the previous staff and may be re-confirmed officially depending on how things shake out.
Welcome back to the banks Andrew!