Two years removed from accepting the Tennessee head coaching job — only for a fan revolt to force Tennessee to back out of the deal — Greg Schiano just couldn’t help himself.
“I think reflecting on it, just shows Jersey people are a little sharper,” he said during his introductory press conference Wednesday morning inside the Hale Center in Piscataway, N.J.
“They get it.”
It was really the first time Schiano had addressed any part of the Tennessee situation publicly.
Schiano was former athletic director John Currie’s second choice for the job after Dan Mullen opted to go to Florida. When word leaked, Tennessee fans revolted in every way imaginable. The pressure became too much for the administration, forcing their hand to back out of the hire.
Two years later, Schiano has landed on his feet, back at Rutgers. Choppin’ wood is also back, making an appearance in the opening press conference.
Imagine Greg Schiano coming to Tennessee directly after the catchphrase king Butch Jones was fired. I can’t see any part of that going well.
Rutgers just went through the opposite of what Tennessee did. Talks broke down last week between the two sides, but things ramped back up after Rutgers fan continued to add pressure. It will be fascinating to see if he can have success there again with the current state of the program, especially now that they are members of the Big Ten.
So Tennessee seems to be on the right track with Jeremy Pruitt after a 7-5 season. Rutgers has their coach back. I’ll take Tennessee’s side of that deal every single time.
I think you’ll look back on Schiano Sunday as a turning point for this Tennessee football program for years to come.