Rutgers may seem completely overmatched in the Big Ten. But that isn't stopping the Scarlet Knights from pursuing top candidates to replace Chris Ash.
According to Stadium's Brett McMurphy, Rutgers has contacted three notable coaches about their head coaching vacancy. Per the report, Greg Schiano, Butch Jones, and Jim Leavitt have all been contacted in the past two weeks to gauge their interest.
Rutgers fired Chris Ash following a 1-3 start, capped off on Saturday by a 52-0 loss to Michigan. Ash went 8-32 as Rutgers' head coach after being hired in 2016.
After going 2-10 in 2016, Ash led Rutgers to some slight improvement with a 4-8 record in 2017. But the team regressed in 2018, going 1-11.
Schiano, of course, has the strongest ties to Rutgers. He led the Scarlet Knights to national prominence in the mid-2000s before leaving to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Schiano spent the previous three years at Ohio State before joining the New England Patriots coaching staff at the start of 2019. But he curiously left the team just one month later for vague reasons.
Butch Jones made his name as head coach at Central Michigan and Cincinnati. He won four conference titles and had two top 25 finishes before getting his big break at Tennessee. But Jones was fired from the Vols in 2017 and has since found work as an analyst at Alabama.
Leavitt is the oldest and most experienced coach on the list. He was the head coach of South Florida from 1997 until he was controversially fired in 2009. Since then he has taken up various jobs in the NFL and across college football and now works for FSU.
Whoever Rutgers ultimately hires will need to have a strong acumen for recruiting. The Scarlet Knights have seen the top prospects from New Jersey go everywhere but Rutgers for years.
Who will be the next head coach of Rutgers?