National signing day in the NCAA is Wednesday, and with the departure of coach Greg Schiano to Tampa Bay, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights find themselves in a bind in their efforts to attract top-notch high school players. But they’re getting closer to a new hire.
The New York Post reports that Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti has narrowed his coaching candidates down to interim coach Kyle Flood and Florida International head coach Mario Cristobal.
Cristobal took over at Florida International in 2007, and led the Golden Panthers to back-to-back bowl appearances. Flood has been in coaching assistant positions for 19 years, but has never been a head coach.
Temple head coach Steve Addazio was Rutgers first choice, but he is staying at Temple. He had a record of 9-4 in his first season. According to athlonsports.com, other potential coaching choices for the Scarlet Knights are Tom Bradley, who has coached his entire career at Penn State, and coached them for the final four games this past season.
Another in-house candidate would be offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti, who joined the team before the 2011 season. He has never been a head coach, but has seen time with North Carolina, Fresno State, California and Pittsburgh, and Kansas City and New Orleans in the NFL. And the former coach at Boston College, Jeff Jagodzinski, posted a 20-8 record coaching there in 2007-2008.
The Asbury Park Press reports that New York Giants offensive line coach Pat Flaherty, another candidate, was an assistant at Rutgers for eight years, including in 1990 and ’91 when Pernetti was playing tight end for the Scarlet Knights. He is said to have strong ties to the New Jersey high school coaching community.
Flood is also said to be a solid recruiter. He says the high school seniors that have committed to Rutgers are still on board.
According to an Associated Press report on ESPN, Pernetti said he may have a coach chosen by national signing day, but was offering no deadlines.