Sources: Rutgers meets with ex-coach Greg Schiano about coaching vacancy

Illinois' defense puts 6 on the board (0:28)

Illinois' Isaiah Gay forces Rutgers QB Johnny Langan to cough up the ball, and Nate Hobbs returns the fumble 36 yards for a Fighting Illini score. (0:28)

Rutgers is trying to lure Greg Schiano back to coach its football team, and the Scarlet Knights took a step toward doing it by meeting with him and his representatives for several hours on Tuesday, sources confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

The sources said Schiano met with Rutgers officials in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday. The meeting ended without Schiano taking the job.

NJ.com first reported details of the meeting.

The sources told ESPN that a deal is far from being done, however, because Schiano is requesting a new indoor facility, upgrades for other facilities and a dramatic increase in assistant coaches' salaries.

Former Tennessee coach Butch Jones, now an offensive analyst at Alabama, also interviewed for the Rutgers job last week.

A source told ESPN that Rutgers officials have a "very short list" of potential candidates to replace former coach Chris Ash, who was fired Sept. 29 after compiling an 8-32 record in three-plus seasons.

Schiano, 53, was the most successful coach in Rutgers' long-suffering football history. He had a 68-67 record with the Scarlet Knights from 2001 to 2011. After his teams had losing records in each of his first four seasons, Rutgers had winning campaigns in all but one of his final seven at the school.

In 2006, the Scarlet Knights started 9-0 and were ranked No. 7 in the AP poll after upsetting No. 3 Louisville 28-25 at home. Rutgers lost to Cincinnati 30-11 the next week and eventually finished 11-2. They were No. 12 in the final AP poll, the highest finish in school history.

Schiano won the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year and Home Depot Coach of the Year honors that season.

A native of Wyckoff, New Jersey, Schiano left Rutgers to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January 2012. His teams went 11-21 in two seasons, and he and Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik were fired in December 2013.

Schiano was the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer at Ohio State from 2016 to 2018. Schiano was set to be Tennessee's new head coach in November 2017, but the Volunteers backed out of the deal after some of their supporters and others questioned his knowledge of Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse during Schiano's tenure as a Penn State assistant from 1990 to 1995.

Schiano has repeatedly denied knowing about the allegations of Sandusky's abuse of boys, and Penn State and Ohio State officials defended him following Tennessee's decision.

He abruptly resigned from a position on the New England Patriots' coaching staff in March, citing a "need to spend more time on my faith and family." His resignation came less than two months after he was hired by coach Bill Belichick.

Since Schiano's departure, the Scarlet Knights have had just two winning seasons -- 9-4 in 2012 and 8-5 in 2014 under Kyle Flood.

Schiano's success came when the Scarlet Knights competed in the Big East Conference. Rutgers moved to the Big Ten in 2014 and has struggled mightily while competing against Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State in the Big Ten East. The Scarlet Knights have lost 37 of their last 41 conference games.

Flood was fired after a 4-8 season in 2015, and Ash, a former Ohio State co-defensive coordinator, was hired to replace him. Ash's teams never won more than four games in each of his three-plus seasons; he was fired after a 1-3 start this year.

Tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile is Rutgers' interim coach. The Scarlet Knights are 2-7 -- and 0-6 in Big Ten games -- going into a Nov. 16 home game against No. 1 Ohio State.