Greg Schiano talks coaching tree with Mario Cristobal, P.J. Fleck: ‘Those guys are special’

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Greg Schiano is starting to develop quite a coaching tree, with three of his former assistants now head coaches at the Power Five level.

Miami head coach Mario Cristobal, Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck and Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley are all former Rutgers assistants under Schiano who are now very successful – and high-profile – Power Five head coaches.

On Monday night, Schiano appeared on WQAM in south Florida with host Larry Blustein. He was asked about his coaching tree, which Schiano said is now starting to make him feel old.

“It’s funny, I was always the youngest this, the youngest that. And now I’m getting to be one of the older guys. I don’t know how that happened. But I do take pride,” Schiano told Blustein about his former assistants now becoming head coaches.

“Mario is a dear friend and I was really happy for him when he got back to the University of Miami. He had a great situation out at Oregon but Miami is home for Mario and he’s doing a great job. As is P.J. Fleck out at Minnesota. P.J. – you know, you can tell, early on I could Mario was going to be a head coach, P.J. was going to be a head coach. Those guys are special, they have that it factor. Other than the days we are playing against them or recruiting them, I’m always rooting for them.”

Rutgers opens the season at Halfley’s Boston College.

Schiano touched on a number of topics in his interview with Blustein, who is a highly-respected source on Florida football news and recruiting. In the interview, Schiano talked about the importance of recruiting nationally within the Big Ten blueprint but also in keeping up the program’s strong ties to Florida.

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Rutgers currently has five Florida commits in the class of 2023.