Schiano Turns Down Michigan Football Job

Friday, December 7th 2007, 11:48 am
By: News On 6

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Greg Schiano rejected overtures from Michigan and will remain the football coach at Rutgers. Schiano met with the team on Friday and told the Scarlet Knights of his decision, Rutgers spokesman Jason Baum said.

It marked the second time in less than a week that Michigan was rebuffed in its efforts to find a successor to Lloyd Carr. Les Miles decided to remain at LSU 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 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.''

Rutgers athletic director Robert E. Mulcahy, Bryan Harlin, Schiano's agent, and Michigan spokesman Bruce Madej did not immediately return telephone calls by The Associated Press.

Michigan athletic director Bill Martin and Schiano met for several hours in New York on Tuesday.

The Star-Ledger of Newark reported Schiano tentatively accepted the job on Wednesday, but he had a change of heart on Thursday.

A New Jersey native, Schiano orchestrated one of the most impressive turnarounds in college football during his seven seasons at Rutgers. When he took over in Piscataway, the program was one of the worst in the Division I-A.

The Scarlet Knights have enjoyed three straight winning seasons and will be making their third consecutive postseason appearance at the International Bowl against Ball State on Jan. 6. They went 7-5 this season, a disappointment after starting the season ranked No. 16 in the nation.

Schiano's decision to talk to Michigan came just a day after he gave the impression that he was not interested in the job.

``I haven't spoken to anybody about any job,'' Schiano said Monday when asked about Michigan at his weekly news conference, ``and that's where I'm going to leave it.''

Within 48 hours, that all seemed to change, which is similar to a year ago when he turned down a chance to return to Miami; he was the Hurricanes defensive coordinator before coming to Rutgers.

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 an expansion of the Rutgers football stadium. The university's Board of Governors recently put off a vote on a stadium expansion proposal after Gov. Jon 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 stadium is expected to cost $120 million.

Schiano's decision leaves Michigan 0-for-2 in its search to replace Carr, who retired on Nov. 19 after 13 seasons.

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 behind Florida State's Bobby Bowden and ahead of South Carolina's Steve Spurrier.

Michigan's list of potential candidates still 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.