Rutgers welcomes back Greg Schiano after lengthy negotiations

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- Greg Schiano is back as Rutgers football coach. The university's board of governors approved an agreement Tuesday to bring back the former Scarlet Knights coach to lead the program.

Schiano, 53, gets an eight-year, $32 million deal.

"Today we open the next great chapter for Rutgers Football," athletic director Pat Hobbs said in a news release. "Coach Schiano is absolutely the best person to lead our program. He brings a quality of leadership and integrity that will make all of us proud in the years ahead. I couldn't be more excited for our student-athletes and our fans.

"A lot of hard work lies ahead, but we will all keep chopping together with Coach to achieve success in the Big Ten. We all know what the goal is and we all must do our part. I can't express enough appreciation to Greg and Christy Schiano, the first family of Rutgers Football. Welcome back!"

The move comes a little more than a week after both sides walked away from negotiations and declared the possibility of a reunion dead. They came back to the table and reached the agreement on Sunday, sources told ESPN.

"Rutgers University and this football program have meant the world to me and my family," Schiano said in the news release. "I arrived here in 2000 with the goal to build a program that would be a source of pride for the state of New Jersey and develop great young men. I look forward to embracing that challenge once again."

According to a copy of the contract obtained by ESPN's Adam Rittenberg, Schiano's request for an out clause if Rutgers did not meet deadlines for facilities improvement -- one of the biggest sticking points in negotiations -- was struck from the contract. Rutgers has agreed to extensive facilities improvements if Schiano and Hobbs can raise 50% of the projected costs in private donations. There is no timetable set for the improvements.

The sides met in the middle on use of private jets. Schiano will be able to use private jets for recruiting. On other university business, he will be able to use private jets if private funding is available. If not, Schiano will be able to fly first class on commercial flights.

The contract is not fully guaranteed. If Schiano is fired with cause, he will be paid 77% of his remaining salary up to $24.6 million.

The buyout begins at $8 million and decreases as the contract progresses.

Schiano, a New Jersey native, went 68-67 at Rutgers from 2001 to 2011 and turned the Scarlet Knights into consistent winners after years of being one of the worst major college football programs in the country.

"I commend Rutgers Athletics Director Pat Hobbs and Coach Schiano for reaching an agreement following very complex negotiations to bring on this new, exciting chapter for Rutgers Athletics," Rutgers president Robert Barchi said. "We are all thrilled to welcome Coach Schiano. He is the right coach at the right time to build our Big Ten football program into a long-running source of pride for Rutgers."

Schiano left Rutgers in 2012 to become head coach of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but his tenure lasted only two years. He resurfaced at Ohio State as defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer in 2016. He had reached an agreement to become the Tennessee' coach in 2017, but an uproar from fans on social media led the school to rescind its offer.

Schiano left Ohio State after last season when the Buckeyes struggled on defense, and he briefly took a job as an assistant with the New England Patriots earlier this year. He stepped down soon after, deciding instead to take the season off.

Rutgers finished off a 2-10 season (0-9 in the Big Ten) on Saturday with a loss at No. 10 Penn State. Nunzio Campanile has been the interim head coach since Chris Ash was fired five games into his fourth season. Ash went 8-32 in three-plus seasons, including 3-26 in the Big Ten.

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg and The Associated Press contributed to this report.