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Going With Number 2 – Hometown View

Kyle Flood (ScarletKnights.com)

Rutgers University has its man and even if he was the second choice it might turn out that Kyle Flood was the right choice.

This afternoon in Piscataway the school will introduce the 41-year old Flood as their new head football coach and the replacement for Greg Schiano who in a stunning move left RU for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Bucs last week. Flood was named interim coach after Schiano bolted last Thursday and he was interviewed for the job over the weekend.

However Athletic Director Tim Pernetti wanted someone with head coaching experience so his choice was Mario Cristobal, a former Rutgers assistant who has been the head coach at Florida International for the last five years and is considered a rising star in the coaching ranks.

Mario Cristobal (Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

At one point yesterday it appeared that Cristobal was headed to Rutgers where Flood would have remained as an Associate Head Coach and Pernetti would have had the best of both worlds. However contract talks broke off for reportedly several reasons, including money and Cristobal’s reluctance to leave Miami where he’s spent most of his life.

With Rutgers wanting to get a coach in place before tomorrow’s National Signing Day Pernetti had little choice but to turn to Flood, a highly regarded assistant coach and recruiter who has strong connections with many New Jersey High School coaches.

Certainly this is a bit of a gamble in that Flood has never been a head coach before and he’s not a big name. In becoming the 29th head coach in school history he replaces Schiano who did much to raise the profile of Rutgers football not only in the state but across the country. He was a tremendous recruiter and filled with energy and personality. However Schiano did not produce any championships and lost as many games as he won. The shoes Flood has to fill are only a bit bigger and with the recruiting class he’ll help deliver tomorrow we might look back on this day in a few years and say his hiring was a brilliant move…even if he was the second choice.

 

 

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