Rutgers made headlines on Sunday, making the first move of the coaching carousel season. Chris Ash got the boot after a 1-3 start to the season. Ash went just 8-32 during his time at Rutgers.
Why should you care? Well, a couple of names of interest with Tennessee ties have already emerged, according to Brett McMurphy. His report states that Butch Jones and Greg Schiano have already been contacted by the school to gauge interest in the job. This happened a couple of weeks ago, according to McMurphy.
Individuals representing Rutgers contacted Greg Schiano, Butch Jones & Jim Leavitt among others in past 2 weeks to gauge interest in RU job, sources told @Stadium— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 29, 2019
Jones was fired by Tennessee in 2017, sparking the wildest coaching search of all time. Former Tennessee athletics direct John Currie zeroed in on Greg Schiano to replace Jones, but that deal was called off after unprecedented backlash from fans and boosters.
Now each are in the mix to replace Ash at Rutgers.
Schiano brought Rutgers to life in the early 2000s, reaching 11 wins at his height in 2006. The Scarlett Knights started 9-0 during that season, reaching No. 7 in the AP Poll. Schiano left Rutgers to take the Buccaneers job in 2012 — a stop that lasted just two seasons after an 11-21 record.
Schiano resurfaced in 2016 at Ohio State as Urban Meyer’s defensive coordinator. He announced that he was leaving the Buckeyes this spring, accepting the defensive coordinator role with the Patriots. However, Schiano backed out of that job during the summer. According to FootballScoop.com, Schiano has been positioning himself for a return to Rutgers since then.
For Butch Jones, he’s spent the last two seasons as an analyst for Nick Saban at Alabama. He was rumored to be joining Mike Locksley’s staff this offseason, but those talks fell through. Jones is still at Alabama, but could be on the move after the season.
Jones is still on the Tennessee payroll. He’s slated to collect checks from Tennessee until February of 2021, but that number will be reduced if Jones takes another job.
So while Tennessee has plenty of problems of their own to worry about, the Rutgers coaching search is one to keep an eye on over the next couple of months.