Buccaneers introduce Rutgers’ Schiano as new coach

Question of the Day

What has been the biggest debacle on Obama's watch?

View results

TAMPA, FLA. (AP) - Greg Schiano couldn’t resist the challenge of trying to transform the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into winners.

The 45-year-old architect of a stunning college football turnaround at Rutgers was formally introduced Friday as the “right man” to the lead the NFL’s youngest team to playoff contention _ and beyond.

“I don’t believe in doing anything except to be the best,” Schiano told a packed auditorium inside the team’s posh headquarters and training facility. “We’re going to try to be the best starting today. How long that’s going to take, I can’t tell you that. … But when our best is the best, we’ll be Super Bowl champs.”

Schiano took over a struggling program at Rutgers and turned it 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 it’s only NFL title in 2002.

“He’s a person who came into a program and built it from the ground up. … He went in there, rolled up his sleeves, cut no corners, did the hard work that was necessary to put it where it is today,” Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said.

“He has a vision for what he wants to do, how he wants to coach football,” Glazer added. “We spoke to a lot of people in football. The more people we spoke to, whether it be college or the pros or scouts, it was amazing the feedback you got.”

There have been numerous suitors for Schiano over the past decade, however he said none of the opportunities seemed right for him. That is until the Bucs called during a 24-day search that began when Raheem Morris was fired on Jan. 2.

The Glazer family, along with general manager Mark Dominik, convinced Schiano they share a common vision of what it will take to build a consistent winner.

“I’ve been in the NFL” as an assistant, Schiano said. “I’ve been a head coach for 11 years. I did not need to be a head coach in the National Football league today. … So I really studied the team, I studied the situation, I studied the ownership, I studied mark. That’s what makes me comfortable” taking the job.

“There’s been several opportunities to go to places that were quote, unquote bigger names or bigger programs,” the coach added. “And at times I listened. But when I tried to put myself there, it just didn’t feel good. … This felt right.”

The Bucs have fielded the league’s youngest team the past two years with dramatically different results. After going 10-6 and nearly earning a playoff berth in 2010, they slumped to 4-12 for this season, ending the 35-year-old Morris‘ run as the NFL’s youngest head coach on a 10-game losing streak.

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 with a career-high 22 interceptions after throwing just six the previous season.

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.

“The more time we had a chance to spend with him, the more evident and clear it was that he was going to be the man to lead our football team going forward,” Dominik said.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Get Adobe Flash player
You Might Also Like
  • Nathan Walker waits to take the ice during the Capitals' development camp at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Monday, July 9, 2012. (Ryan M.L. Young/The Washington Times)

    Nathan Walker’s NHL dreams send him around the world

  • Washington Nationals' Anthony Rendon, third from left, smiles as he warms up with his teammates who were were wearing t-shirts in support of him for the All Star game before an interleague baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Nationals Park, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Anthony Rendon not an All-Star, but he’s been Nats’ MVP

  • Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter speaks during a media availability in the dugout before an interleague baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Monday, July 7, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    LOVERRO: Suck-up Buck Showalter needs history lesson

  • Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez, left, celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero after scoring the decisive goal during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final

  • Washington Redskins safety Tanard Jackson speaks during a media availability after an NFL football training camp practice at Redskins Park, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012 in Ashburn, Va. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again

  • Celebrities In The News
  • Hall of Fame Inductees, KISS, Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Gene Simmons, and Ace Frehley speak at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Thursday, April, 10, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

    KISS rocker Gene Simmons touts 1 percent life: ‘It’s fantastic’

  • This image from video released by Funny Or Die shows President Obama, left, with actor-comedian Zach Galifianakis during an appearance on "Between Two Ferns," the digital short with a laser focus on reaching people aged 18 to 34. The president urged young people to sign up for the new health care plan through an appearance posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014, on the comic website Funny or Die, bypassing TV talk show titans like Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel for an online audience. (AP Photo/Funny Or Die)

    Obama’s ‘Ferns’ interview gets Emmy nod

  • ** FILE ** In this Nov. 12, 2013, file photo, actor Alec Baldwin leaves court in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

    Alec Baldwin in talks to play Rob Ford-like mayor in new NBC drama