|Rutgers coach Schiano to stay, turns down overtures by Michigan|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 07 December 2007 13:52|
The University of Miami couldn't swing the deal last year with a potential $2 million contract and Michigan failed to entice Schiano to one of the nation's most prestigious jobs after a two-day courtship this week.
Schiano's latest decision left the Wolverines 0-for-2 in their bid to find a successor to Lloyd Carr, who announced his retirement last month after 13 seasons. LSU's Les Miles, a former Michigan player and assistant, rejected overtures to return to Ann Arbor last Saturday.
``I was contacted earlier this week about the Michigan coaching vacancy, but I have decided to remove my name from consideration,'' Schiano said Friday in a statement. ``I look forward to our third straight bowl game and to bringing a national championship to Rutgers and the state of New Jersey. I will have no further comment.''
An exhausted Schiano addressed his players at 7 a.m. (EST) Friday to inform them of his decision.
``The University of Miami and the University of Michigan came calling, and he's still our football coach,'' quarterback Mike Teel said several hours later. ``I don't think we have much to worry about.
``If you don't go to Michigan as a head football coach, with the tradition and everything that they have, the Big House in Ann Arbor - if you don't take that as a football coach, you're at the spot where you want to be,'' Teel said. ``This is where he wants to be.''
Schiano orchestrated one of the most impressive turnarounds in college football during his seven seasons at the State University of New Jersey. He took over one of the worst major college programs and has led it to three straight bowl appearances.
While this year's 7-5 record was a disappointment after starting the season ranked No. 16, the Scarlet Knights have accepted a bid to play at the International Bowl against Ball State on Jan. 6.
Gov. Jon Corzine and Rutgers athletic director Robert E. Mulcahy were thrilled Schiano once again decided he had unfinished business in his home state.
``I think it's a really good thing for Rutgers,'' Corzine said during a Statehouse news conference in Trenton.
Mulcahy looked to the future.
``He has accomplished so much in his time here, and I know that he believes there is much more ahead of us,'' Mulcahy said in a statement. ``Under his direction, Rutgers football will continue to move forward as one of the nation's elite programs.''
Michigan spokesman Bruce Madej did not return a telephone call left by The Associated Press seeking comment.
Michigan athletic director Bill Martin and Schiano met for several hours in New York City on Tuesday. Reports began surfacing on Thursday that Michigan may have found its man.
However, Schiano decided to stay put again.
``It was a long night, a lot of thinking,'' Teel said. He said players were informed of the early morning meeting at 11 p.m. on Thursday.
The courting process this year was a blur compared to the six-week period during which Miami tried to get its former defensive coordinator to return and replace Larry Coker.
After pulling out of contention for the Miami job, Schiano signed a four-year extension through 2016 that will pay him $1.7 million annually.
That deal contains a buyout of $750,000 if Schiano were to leave Rutgers between the end of the 2007 regular season and the beginning of the 2008 campaign.
Instead of a new contract, Schiano's decision to stay might influence the powers that be to raise money to expand the Rutgers football stadium. The university's Board of Governors this week put off a vote on a stadium expansion proposal after Corzine expressed reservations about floating a $30 million state loan for the project.
The addition of 12,000 seats, luxury boxes and a dining club to the Piscataway stadium is expected to cost $120 million.
Rutgers will return to practice Saturday.
``He came to this place to make it special, to win championships, to be a big-time football program,'' Teel said. ``We're going in the direction.''
For Michigan, the search for a coach goes on. Martin's list of potential candidates includes California's Jeff Tedford, Missouri's Gary Pinkel, North Carolina State's Tom O'Brien, Ball State's Brady Hoke, Michigan offensive coordinator Mike DeBord and Wolverines defensive coordinator Ron English.
The 62-year-Carr posted a 121-40 record, including an 8-4 mark this season. His .752 winning percentage is seventh among active coaches.
AP Sports Writer Larry Lage in Detroit and Associated Press Writer Angela Delli Santi in Trenton contributed to this story.