Right after Greg Schiano stepped down as Rutgers coach last week, there was a mild panic about the future. With less than a week before signing day, how would athletic director Tim Pernetti manage the crisis?
He assured everybody it was doable to hire his next coach before signing day rolled around. Pernetti delivered on that promise Tuesday, though the man he hired may not have been No. 1 on his list.
Rutgers removed the interim label from coach Kyle Flood, naming him head coach with one day to go before signing day. It appears Rutgers has kept most of its stellar class intact, and the move should play well with in-state recruits and players on the team. But it was not the tidiest of coaching searches.
Pernetti reportedly had been in contract negotiations to hire FIU coach Mario Cristobal before the deal fell apart Monday afternoon and Cristobal decided to stay in Miami. That is when Pernetti quickly turned to Flood, who has served as offensive line coach at Rutgers for the past seven years. He has ties to the tri-state area for recruiting, is well liked and may even keep most of the coaching staff. The only thing missing from his resume is head coaching experience.
That hasn't stopped coaches before him from being successful (ahem, Schiano). And he has been a part of several programs that have had success. In 16 of his 17 seasons as an assistant, his teams have finished with winning records, including a national championship at Delaware.
The last time Rutgers promoted an assistant coach on staff to head coach was in 1973, when Frank Burns replaced John Bateman. Burns became the winningest coach in school history.