After a historically bad year on the offensive side of the ball, Rutgers knew that it was in desperate need of a new leader.
Kirk Ciarrocca was hired as the man for the job and his salary was officially approved on Saturday. The new offensive coordinator agreed to a three-year deal worth $1.4 million annually. Ciarrocca is now the highest-paid assistant coach in program history and one of the highest paid in the Big Ten.
Ciarrocca is set to make around $400,000 more than Sean Gleeson, who Rutgers still owes $1.05 million as part of their buyout. As for Ciarrocca, he owes Minnesota a buyout of $275,000 after leaving the program for “another Division I school in a role other than head coach,” per the contract extension he signed on Dec. 8, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune.
Ciarrocca spent last season at Minnesota as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach after a stint at Penn State in 2020. This will now be Ciarrocca’s second stint in Piscataway as he held the same position under Greg Schiano during his first tenure. Interestingly enough, Schiano decided to let Ciarrocca go in 2010 but has now brought him back.
This will be no easy task for Ciarrocca. Rutgers scored 11.7 points per game during Big Ten games in 2022, saved only by Northwestern, who finished in the basement at 11.6 points. The Scarlet Knights are hoping that Ciarrocca can develop Gavin Wimsatt into a reliable quarterback in the Big Ten.
One thing we do know is that Rutgers will be paying $2.4 million to offensive coordinators during the 2023 season — between Ciarrocca and Gleeson. Schiano needs to hope that this hire works out and there is a significant improvement offensively. After three years, it is hard to be excited about the progress of the program. The Scarlet Knights are hoping this is a move to help send them in the right direction.