SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) -Rutgers associate coach Darren Rizzi has been hired as coach at Rhode Island.
Rizzi, a former tight end at Rhode Island, replaces Tim Stowers, who was fired last month after one winning season in eight years. Rizzi, 37, agreed to a five-year deal with a base pay of $160,000.
``This opportunity is a dream come true and I'm excited to be back at my alma mater,'' Rizzi said Tuesday. ``Ever since I graduated from URI and joined the coaching profession, this was always an opportunity I cherished. I look forward to getting started right away and to help build URI into a championship program.''
Rizzi spent six seasons at Rutgers, and coached linebackers and special teams this season. Rutgers (7-5) is preparing for its third straight bowl game.
``He has done a great job here at Rutgers and I know that he will do a great job as the head football coach at the University of Rhode Island,'' Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. ``We will miss him but are very happy for him and his family.''
At Rhode Island, Rizzi ranks fourth on list for career receptions and yards.

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