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What’s next for Rutgers Athletics following the 2021-2022 season?

The Scarlet Knights put together one of their best athletic seasons.

Maryland v Rutgers Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Fourth of July is now well in the rearview mirror and that means one thing for true sports’ fanatics — it’s time to focus on football season.

Whether you are on the beach somewhere or stuck in an office (hopefully air conditioned), it is that time of year where minds begin to think about the upcoming year for Rutgers Athletics. How can you help it after the year that we just had?

The end of summer signals the start of football season as teams begin reporting to training camp. At the midway point of the fall, basketball begins to heat up followed by March Madness and right into the spring. It is the natural cycle that fans have grown accustomed to.

I rarely use the first person point of view when writing. However, it is necessary here when thinking about the upcoming season in my new role with On The Banks. First thought? Excitement that I get to take over after what was an extremely successful season for Rutgers Athletics across the board.


Greg Schiano is entering year three back in Piscataway and will do so with the highest-ranked quarterback prospect in program history. The only question is, when will we see Gavin Wimsatt take over the starting job?

Wimsatt appeared in three regular season games before getting some extended time during the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl on New Year’s Eve. He showed flashes of being the player that fans are hoping for. Noah Vedral will return for what could be his third season as the starter under center for the Scarlet Knights. Once training camp begins, all eyes will be on Wimsatt.

In 2022, Wimsatt will lead the charge for Schiano’s recruits. He is beginning to get his guys in the building and this is when the full rebuild can be put into motion. Rutgers is 8-14 over the last two years with with five victories in the Big Ten. In six years in the Big Ten prior to Schiano’s return, Rutgers had just seven conference wins.

Rutgers will once again compete for six wins and a bowl game in 2022. Schiano has the team heading in the right direction and Wimsatt could take it up even further.

Men’s Basketball

Rutgers was in the midst of an NCAA Tournament drought dating back to 1991 — and there was no end in sight.

Enter Steve Pikiell.

In his fourth season, Pikiell led Rutgers to 20 wins, 11 in the Big Ten, and what would have been a tournament berth if the pandemic did not cancel the action. The Scarlet Knights have been apart of the last two tournaments and will have a chance to do so once again this season.

This is a big season for Rutgers. Geo Baker and Ron Harper Jr. are gone and this might make some think that the window for Rutgers is closed. That is not the case. The Scarlet Knights return many core pieces including Caleb McConnell, Paul Mulcahy, and Cliff Omoruyi. The Scarlet Knights will also welcome some new additions via the transfer portal led by Cam Spencer.

Pikiell has the state of recruiting in a great place. Rutgers has risen to a national level and this season will be as interesting as ever. The Big Ten will be strong once again and it will be fascinating to see how Rutgers fares, especially early on, without Baker and Harper Jr.


The Scarlet Knights won a program-record 44 games and finished 17-7, which was second behind Maryland. They were one victory away from an automatic bid to the big dance but suffered a loss to Michigan in the Big Ten Championship Game.

There were many who believe Rutgers should have been an at-large team but nonetheless, the committee left off the high-powered offense of the Scarlet Knights.

Head coach Steve Owens has been busy adding transfers to a roster that will return many big names next season. Ryan Lasko will be one of the most exciting players in the Big Ten as he continues to build his draft stock.

The Scarlet Knights turned in one of the best seasons in program history and there will be high expectations heading into 2023.

Women’s Basketball

The Coquese Washington era has begun in Piscataway. She returns to the Big Ten after a previous stint as head coach at Penn State. She was able to improve the program and turn the Nittany Lions into contenders. That is what is expected of Washington at Rutgers.

Washington replaces Hall-of-Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer after a legendary career. Last season, the Scarlet Knights finished 11-20 and won a game in the Big Ten Tournament. The roster needs some work but there should be some excitement with Washington taking over.


Men’s Lacrosse is a family affair for the Kirst family. Colin Kirst is an All-American for the Scarlet Knights while his brother Cole Kirst recently transferred to Syracuse. CJ Kirst scored three goals for Cornell against Rutgers in the Final Four this season.

There is only one brother left. Caden Kirst is a member of the Class of 2024 at Bernards High School. It will be interesting to see if Rutgers goes after the last leg of the Kirst dynasty.

The Scarlet Knights are coming off their first-ever appearance in the Final Four. They finished 15-4 last season and will return some key pieces that can keep the team near the top of the Big Ten.


Rutgers women’s soccer advanced to the College Cup for the second time in program history this season. The Scarlet Knights put together a historic season earning the first outright Big Ten title in Rutgers Athletics history.

The Scarlet Knights put together an exciting tournament run to the Final Four, where they took on No. 1 Florida State. Head coach Mike O’Neill has built a strong program that will be in contention once again next season.

The Scarlet Knights are still searching for that first ever National Championship and women's soccer is certainly a team that can reach that goal.

Field Hockey

Finally, the field hockey team won the program’s first-ever Big Ten Tournament title this season. It was a 1-0 victory over Michigan in front of a record-setting crowd.

It was a banner year for Rutgers across the board. The state of athletics is in a great place and there should be great excitement in Piscataway once again this year.