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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

Rutgers' Greg Schiano Post-Conference Quotes with Media 12/4/19


December 4, 2019


On a timetable for the program: “No, I never put a timetable on it and I’m not going to put a timetable on it now. There are some factors that are just out of your control and I’ve gotten better not spending a lot of time thinking about those factors. What we need to do is to focus on what we can control. So that’s recruiting players and developing players. But before we can do that, I have to hire a staff, so there’s a lot going on right now. It is an incredibly busy time and we’re up against it with the signing date just being a week and a half away or whatever it is, two weeks away, so it’s a challenge there’s no doubt. I don’t think it’s going to happen lickity split, but I do think we have some pieces here that are going to be really, really, good. We need to keep building on those. Again, as we talked about some of those guys that are permanently on the wall, there were developmental players that came in and really developed and that’s something that will never change here.”

Process of the last few weeks: “I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I felt it start to get a little anxious, but I just turned it over and said if this is God’s plan, it will happen. If it isn’t so, I really worked to surrender it and I’m so thrilled it happened. I really am. I think people kind of get the picture. This is where I want to be, and we have a lot of work to do, so that’s what we’re going to do.”

On feeling weird being back: “It really didn’t. I had team meetings in here and it’s really weird because it’s eight years later, but it felt like I never left. I didn’t know the faces looking back at me. It’s one of the weirdest things. As a coach, you’re talking to a team, those eyes are all looking at you, at least if you have a team that you want to be around. If they are not looking at you, you have a problem. Felt like I never left.”

On the staff: “Right now it’s me and Nunz (Nuzio Campanile), we have a lot of good young important guys who are helping and some guys like Rick Mantz who are here to help, so we’re just digging in and we will figure it out. Again, the one thing I learned is measure twice, cut once, because you have to live with the issue if you don’t.”

On Schiano and Campanile being only ones out on the road: “No, we can put people out there. The rules allow you to do that, so we’ve kind of put some guys as active recruiters.” The reaction on Sunday and how gratifying was it: “It made me reflect a little bit on what we did in the past and how people appreciated that, and it made me even more fueled to do it again. To give the people what they really want and that’s why today I think you got the picture. It’s a call to action that we all need to do it.”

On the financial commitment to secure a staff: “There were several things we went back and forth with, but that’s what they are bringing me here to do, to be the expert in this field. I’m not the expert in the other stuff, but I better be the expert in this because I’m in charge of it all. I shared my opinions and then, what I thought was really cool, was it was an open dialogue and we just figured it out. At the end of the day, everybody wanted what was best for Rutgers and New Jersey. It just took a little while to get there. It doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there.”

On envisioning this being final job: “It’s great. My kids spent 11 years here. You don’t get to do that much in coaching and they got be around their cousins and grandparents. They still talk so fondly of those times, bowl game with their cousins, going to my parent’s house for dinner. It was great, my mom and dad were in today, my brother and sister to be able to do it at home. Just the people … my high school coach was here, he worked with us at one point. There are so many people that want to do this. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be fun.” Reaching out to former players and if that can help: “Absolutely and they know they are more than welcome. We want them here, but I get text messages from players. That is one of the most gratifying things of being a college coach is when “players name” texts you and tells you I just used one of things you always used to tell me in my business meeting.”

Athletic Director Pat Hobbs

On the search process: “Fans are incredibly important. And you always listen to them. Negotiations are hard. Coach talked a bit about that. And we ended up in the right place. The right place for coach. And he needs to understand that we’re going to do the things that we need to do to be successful. Some of those conversations take time, and there’s lots of noise and misunderstandings and things that happen. And that’s fine, that’s just part of the process. From our very first conversation, we didn’t really do an interview. When I first met with Coach, I talked about ‘what is it going to take to come back to Rutgers.’ And that’s a conversation that took time and had some ups and downs. He can’t come back here not knowing that we’re going to do everything we need to do to be competitive in the Big Ten East. We’re climbing Everest. He put some things down on the table that he thought were important for us to accomplish together. And I said to him, ‘Coach, everything that is on your list, is on my list.’ We would all have loved the conversation to have been concluded earlier. But we’re here today. We are shoulder to shoulder. I couldn’t be more excited for the future.”

On Greg referencing that they were ‘shoulder to shoulder’: “We are in alignment. Everything that he believes we need to accomplish with this program, I believe. He’s talked a little bit about the investments that we’ve made. But we’re a long way from completing the investment. As he said, everybody needs to step up now. I know he has a list of people that have said that they are ready to step up. I have a list of people that say they are ready to step up. So, we are going to compare our lists, check them twice, find out who is there and who is not. And I think the Rutgers faithful will be there for us.”

On facility renderings and projections: “The positive thing is that process had already begun before we even got into this search. What we hope to do, is interview all the companies and architectural firms that want to be part of our master plan. We expect to make an award no later than the beginning of the new year. Now we’ll switch this up a little bit and really think about a football specific facility. The sooner we get those renderings, those help. It was a rendering that got our practice fields moving forward, the APC moving forward, the Rodkin Academic Success Center moving forward. I’ve seen a lot of those facilities that they’ve built around the Big Ten. Iowa has built a new facility and it is beautiful. Illinois has a new facility. So, Coach and I will look at a lot of those facilities. And even the Giants center that was just done up the road, was done in a pretty cost-effective way. And if we can do that, the more cost effective we can do it, the sooner we can get the commitments we need and get going. I think we’ll look at everything. That’s why you hire the architects to give us the concepts and associated costs and see what makes the most sense. I think coach and I will be in the same place in the end.”

On the hire: “We are here today. In any negotiation, you have moments, and that’s normal. There is lots of noise that happens. We were able to get back together. This past weekend, I just want to laude the exemplary work of coach’s representatives, the lawyers here at Rutgers, the conversations we were able to have, where we both end up knowing that we are positioned to achieve success. You are always worried during conversations about what will happen. This is a big investment. To me, it’s all about looking forward, moving forward together. This is one heck of a great day for Rutgers University.”

On the coaching search: “From the day I’ve arrived here at Rutgers, I’ve been all about making Rutgers University better. I know, that’s why Coach Schiano is standing here with me, shoulder to shoulder. This is where we needed to be in the end. I’m going to stand with our donors and fans, and we’re going to be cheering our tails off when he leads the team out of the tunnel for the first game. We’re Jersey. That’s part of being here in New Jersey – people are loud, they are colorful. Sometimes they hear things that are not accurate about where we are. My focus during the process is, stay focused, continue our conversation. We’ll get there. I said at the beginning, I want someone who can turn Rutgers to competitiveness and compete for Big Ten championships. And that we would make an announcement shortly after the end of the season. And that’s what happened.”

On the Big Ten: “We are in the Big Ten East, probably the most competitive division in all of college football. One of those teams is number one in all of college football. And those are our targets.”

On the financial impact: “Donations, large and small, are going to be incredibly impactful. We have a lot of work to do. We have great sponsors. We are already seeing a great impact. We are very confident moving forward that we are going to be able to fund this.”

On his plans for being at Rutgers long term: “I’m going to be here until Rutgers says they want somebody else. I feel very fortunate to have the support of Dr. Barchi, our Board of Governors and Coach Schiano. From the day I arrived here, I’ve worked hard every day for Rutgers University. I’m going to continue to work hard, every day, for Rutgers University.”

On the search process: “When you work through something like this, we didn’t know each other, so you are building trust. One of the benefits of the length of this process, is it gave us an opportunity to build trust and confidence. He has to have confidence in what I’m going to do and how hard I’m going to work. And I have great confidence in his vision. We have a shared vision for this. We know how hard this is going to be. I couldn’t be more excited to have Greg Schiano standing here as our coach today.”

On Coach Schiano’s message at the press conference: “It was tremendous. How could you not be won over? When he was with the team, I watched the faces of our student-athletes, he won them all over in five minutes. And that’s what he does around this state. And we’re going to continue that.”

On concluding the search process: “This was important to get done. We have a short window here for recruiting. We have to put a staff together. He needs my help in doing that. I know he is going to do a great job of that. We wanted to get this done as soon as the season concluded, and it was very shortly after the season concluded. And now there’s a lot of work to be done.”

Men’s Basketball Head Coach Steve Pikiell

“It’s really, really exciting for Rutgers University. The people that have come together from across the state of New Jersey: alumni, fans, students, student-athletes. People made this happen. It’s a great day for Rutgers. This is a great University, first and foremost, elite academically. We play in the best league in the country in the Big Ten. And now you have a football coach that was national coach of the year. With his presence in the NFL, on this campus, with the alums, it’s really exciting. I’m excited that he’s back. And after hearing him today, I want to play for him.”

“It’s awesome to have him back. You can see the outpouring of support. The alums, former players, present student-athletes. Everybody in the state of New Jersey is excited. He’s a Jersey guy. To have someone that has been in that chair before, and won at the level that he has won, come back to take on the challenge is exciting. I remember when he was the coach, watching those games on television, seeing that stadium packed. Once I got here, I heard all the stories about him. People would come from every corner talking about the job that he did. I’m really excited to be working alongside of him. I think he and Pat are going to make a great tag team, raising money and doing some great things. They are going to have an unbelievable relationship. You saw all the hard work that goes into getting a contract like that done and what goes into it. It’s the mayor, it’s the governor, all the board of governors, the trustees, people like Greg Brown. It’s a lot of different things that go into it. I’m just glad that all those people got in a room and got the job done, which was the best decision for Rutgers University.”

“Football is just unique in how it brings people back to games. It’s the pride, it’s the best football conference in the country. It helps everyone. Student-athletes, the regular students want to go to football games on Saturdays. The more success that you have in football, that helps everybody at the university. I’m really looking forward to the job that he’s going to do. He brings a lot of recognition to this great university.”

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