Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano: I’m a better head coach because of my time at Ohio State

Three years spent at Ohio State helped align Greg Schiano for his next head coaching opportunity. It was a time that the now Rutgers football head coach credits for helping to tweak and check his own internal compass.

Schiano said that his time at Ohio State as a defensive coordinator was a chance for him to experience being an assistant coach once again. Following the 2011 season, his eleventh at Rutgers, Schiano left for two years to become head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Following his time in the NFL, he then went back to the college ranks and linked up with Urban Meyer at Ohio State.

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He was with the Buckeyes for three seasons.

The first two years of his time in Columbus was spent with Meyer, who won three national championships as a college coach (two with Florida and one with Ohio State). The final season for Schiano at Ohio State was 2018 under then interim head coach Ryan Day.

Now in his fourth season back at Rutgers, Schiano points to his time at Ohio State as helping him to develop and focus his coaching philosophy and mentality.

“It was really good for me to go back and be an assistant coach after being a head coach for so many years,” Schiano said last week on ‘Next Up’ with host Adam Breneman.

“It’s very different. And it really forced me to – is what I believed really true, or did I forget what it really is like? And the answer was yes and no. So a lot of it is true. And some of it I really forgot what it was like, and there were things Urban did – (he did) a great job Ohio State, obviously look at the record. Obviously, there are certain things that he did that I didn’t agree with. But as I talked to our staff about, it’s all about vertical alignment.”


This was a lesson that Schiano said he learned from the late Joe Paterno, who won a national championship at Penn State and has the most wins of any college football head coach in FBS history.


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Schiano worked as an assistant under Paterno early in his career.

“And Coach Paterno used to say all the time…we’d argue things out in the staff meeting room but at the end he’d say “Okay this is it.’ And what I took from him is that now you got to go coach it or administer it like it’s your idea. Not that you agree,” Schiano said.

“But it’s like yours because these guys these players they sniff that out right away if you don’t believe it.”


This is where Schiano’s past as an assistant prior to his first stint at Rutgers continues to lay the foundation in what is now his second stint with the program. The time at Ohio State allowed Schiano the chance to examine his methods with one of the juggernauts of college football.

“That was great for me because then coming back to be a head coach,. I can think and say, ‘You know what, I remember how this made me feel at Ohio State.’ Now am I perfect? No. I’m sure my assistants will say that but I do think I’m a lot better head coach for everybody because of those experiences because of the tough times I had in Tampa, because of the Ohio State experience,” Schiano said.

“I learned a lot about recruiting from Urban…Urban was one of the elite, if not the elite recruiter in the country. So yeah, there’s all good experiences. And again, to end up back here, the situation and the circumstances that made that possible.”


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Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire