Rutgers Hires Kyle Flood, SFP Class of 1989, as Head Football Coach
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Posted by: Michael Graziano
Rutgers hires Flood as head coach
By LENN ROBBINS
Last Updated: 8:55 AM, January 31, 2012 Posted: 2:37 AM, January 31, 2012
Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti did not have to look far for his next football coach. His office was right next door to the previous one. Kyle Flood, considered the top recruiter in the Rutgers program, will be hired to succeed Greg Schiano, who took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job. Flood, who is expected to be introduced today, has been at Rutgers since 2006 and has 19 years’ experience as an assistant but he lacked one of the criterion Pernetti laid out at the start of his search: head-coaching experience.That was one reason why Pernetti first offered the job to Florida International’s Mario Cristobal. But when the two sides couldn’t come to agreement on a contract, Pernetti immediately turned to Flood. His hiring was met with instant results. J.J. Denman and Chris Muller, a pair of four-star offensive linemen from Pennsylvania who originally committed to Penn State, reaffirmed their decisions to stick with Rutgers.
If the Scarlet Knights can get a commitment from Don Bosco star defensive lineman Darius Hamilton, the son of former Giants star Keith Hamilton, Flood’s hire could turn out to be a huge success. Don Bosco won the USA Today national championship for a second time under coach Greg Toal. Don Bosco star receiver Leonte Carroo initially backed away from Rutgers. He took a recruiting trip to Miami along with Hamilton. But upon returning Carroo reaffirmed his commitment as did offensive lineman Ryan Brodie of Long Branch, N.J. Rutgers was poised to bring in its highest-rated class in school history, but the sudden departure of Schiano threw that into chaos. National Signing Day is tomorrow.
Pernetti deserves kudos for getting a qualified coach in place before the signing deadline, which is the most important day of the season for a program, other than game days. Last Thursday, he lost his coach of 11 years to the NFL and there was no time to waste. Pernetti reacted immediately, making a whirlwind tour throughout the state to reassure coaches and players at some of the top prep programs that Rutgers was going to find a quality coach and that the university’s commitment to football had not wavered. Flood, 41, of course, will have questions to answer, just as Penn State’s Bill O’Brien or any other first-year coach.
As of yesterday afternoon Flood didn’t even have his own Wikipedia page.Now he will try to accomplish what Schiano never did — win a Big East Conference title and get to a BCS bowl game. Schiano turned Rutgers from a punch line to formidable program but he never got the Knights to a major bowl game.That will be Flood’s charge. He is an energetic, charismatic coach who has earned the trust of the Garden State’s football community from the grass roots on up. New Jersey, like many states, is very provincial when it comes to the relationship between its prep and college teams.