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Buccaneers introduce Rutgers' Schiano as new coach

Published: Friday, Jan. 27 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano pauses as he answers a question while talking with a group of reporters in Piscataway, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, after it was announced that he had accepted an offer to coach the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti says a new coach will be hired Rutgers football coach Greg Schiano pauses as he answers a question while talking with a group of reporters in Piscataway, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012, after it was announced that he had accepted an offer to coach the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti says a new coach will be hired "as soon as possible" but did not guarantee that a hire would be made before signing day on Wednesday. (Mel Evans, Associated Press)

TAMPA, Fla. — Greg Schiano relishes the challenge of trying to turn around the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 45-year-old Schiano was formally introduced Friday as the ninth coach in franchise history, inheriting a team that allowed the most points in the NFL this season.

"We're beginning a new chapter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers," Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said, adding that they're very excited for that new chapter to begin.

Glazer said Schiano "has a vision for what he wants to do."

Schiano transformed Rutgers from a struggling college football program into a Big East contender during an 11-year run with the Scarlet Knights. The Bucs are banking on him to have the same kind of impact in Tampa Bay, which has not won a playoff game since winning the Super Bowl following the 2002 season.

Schiano replaces Raheem Morris who went 17-31 in three seasons. The Bucs were 4-12 in 2011, missing the postseason for the fourth straight year.

The Morris era ended with a 10-game losing streak, during which a porous defense allowed 31 of more points in seven of the team's last eight games and the offense sputtered, in part because of the inconsistent play of Josh Freeman, who threw took a step back in his development while throwing a career-high 22 interceptions.

FILE -  In this  Sept. 11, 2008 file photo, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano shouts to his players during an NCAA college football game against North Carolina in Piscataway, N.J.  A person familiar with the negotiations says the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in talks with Schiano to become the team's next coach. The 46-year-old Schiano has been with the Scarlet Knights for 11 seasons, taking them from college football laughingstock to a program that has had winning records in six of the last seven years.   (Mel Evans,file, Associated Press) FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2008 file photo, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano shouts to his players during an NCAA college football game against North Carolina in Piscataway, N.J. A person familiar with the negotiations says the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in talks with Schiano to become the team's next coach. The 46-year-old Schiano has been with the Scarlet Knights for 11 seasons, taking them from college football laughingstock to a program that has had winning records in six of the last seven years. (Mel Evans,file, Associated Press)

Schiano was one of at least 10 candidates the Glazer family interviewed during a 24-day search. Oregon coach Chip Kelly turned down the job earlier this week, leaving Schiano, former Green Bay Packers and Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman and Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski as finalists for the Tampa Bay opening.

In addition to getting Freeman back on track, Schiano faces the challenge of improving a defense that yielded a franchise-record 494 points while also ranking near the bottom of the NFL in sacks and yards allowed.

The Bucs used first- and second-round selections in each of the past two drafts to rebuild the defense line, yet still have not been able to generate a consistent pass rush.

Schiano an assistant coach in the NFL with Chicago and was the University of Miami's defensive coordinator before moving to Rutgers.

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