Thursday, January 26, 2012

Buccaneers will turn to Rutgers' Schiano as next head coach

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will make Rutgers coach Greg Schiano their next head coach, league sources told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora on Thursday.

The Buccaneers later confirmed the move, and Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik told The Associated Press that Schiano will receive a five-year contract.

The team scheduled a press conference for Friday to introduce Schiano, who inherits a team that allowed the most points in the NFL this season.

"Coach Schiano is a bright, meticulous teacher who knows how to get the most out of his players," Dominik said. "He built and ran a pro-style program at Rutgers, and he's a defensive-minded coach whose teams have always been characterized by toughness and a physical style of play."

League sources told La Canfora that the team notified other candidates of its decision on Thursday. The team was being cautious about making the hiring public after University of Oregon coach Chip Kelly changed his mind about joining the team just before a deal was signed.

The Buccaneers have been searching for a head coach for most of this past month, but Schiano hadn't been publicly mentioned in connection with the vacancy until Thursday. La Canfora had reported earlier in the day that Tampa Bay was considering the Rutgers coach.

Schiano, 45, was at Rutgers for 11 seasons, compiling a 68-67 record. The Scarlet Knights were 9-4 this season, including a 4-3 record in the Big East.

"During our thorough search, we met with numerous impressive candidates, but Coach Schiano surely distinguished himself," team co-chairman Joel Glazer said. "From his leadership skills to his considerable track record, he is, simply put, the right man for the job."

Former Green Bay coach Mike Sherman was among the candidates who lost out to Schiano, along with Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, also a candidate, told The Tennessean that he had pulled out of the running for the position, an indication the Bucs had narrowed down its search.

Schiano's coaching experience is mostly in college football, including stints at the University of Miami and Penn State University, but he did spend time with the Chicago Bears, serving as a defensive assistant from 1996-97 and as a defensive backfield coach in 1998.

The Newark Star-Ledger had reported earlier this month that Schiano did not want to coach in the NFL after his name had been linked to vacancies. Schiano's contract with Rutgers runs through 2016 and pays him around $2.35 million per year.

The Buccaneers have been looking for a new coach since they fired Raheem Morris following a 2-14 season.

The Buccaneers are known to have interviewed Chudzinski, Gray, Kelly, Sherman, new Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements and former NFL head coaches Brad Childress and Marty Schottenheimer for the job.

An 11th known candidate, ex-Dallas Cowboys coach and current Houston defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, canceled a scheduled interview that would have taken place while the Texans were in the playoffs.

According to La Canfora, Childress and Sherman are candidates for several open offensive coordinator positions, with Cleveland interested in both. League sources told him that Miami, Indianapolis and Oakland are also possible landing spots.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

author: wire reports

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