Rutgers is preparing to hire Minnesota’s Kirk Ciarrocca as its next offensive coordinator, according to reports from Pete Thamel of ESPN.
Ciarrocca will takeover for Nunzio Campanile, who acted as the interim when the Scarlet Knights decided to move on from Sean Gleeson in October.
Rutgers brings in Ciarrocca after spending the 2022 season in the same role at Minnesota. The Golden Gophers averaged 28.2 points per game this season. Ciarrocca’s work with quarterbacks might be a reason Rutgers views him as the man for the job. He helped develop Tanner Morgan this year and also spent time working with Joe Flacco as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Delaware from 2002-07.
This is not Ciarrocca’s first time in Piscataway. He previously worked under Greg Schiano from 2008-10 as the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Now, he enters with a difficult task of turning around a Rutgers’ offensive that scored 17.4 points per game this season.
The Scarlet Knights averaged 153.9 yards in Big Ten play, which was at the bottom of the league. They had trouble finding consistency and production among the likes of Noah Vedral, Gavin Wimsatt, and Evan Simon. The numbers were far worse in conference play as Rutgers scored just 11.7 points per game and was shut out twice.
Ciarrocca will have some pieces to work with in Samuel Brown and Rashad Rochelle, who will have to step up with Aron Cruickshank and Shameen Jones, among other receivers, on the way out. Unlike last offseason, it seems clear that Wimsatt will enter the 2023 season as the lone starter. This gives the young quarterback a solidified role and the new offensive coordinator a plan.
Ciarrocca has plenty of experience developing quarterbacks and that will be priority No. 1 when he returns to Piscataway.