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Rutgers is finalizing a contract to hire Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson, according to sources. Gleeson has agreed in principle to a three-year deal to become Greg Schiano’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He gives Rutgers a high-profile hire at the most important position on the staff.
Gleeson spent one year at Oklahoma State, coordinating an offense that finished in the top 25 in total offense and rushing offense. In Gleeson’s offense, tailback Chuba Hubbard led the nation in rushing with 2,094 yards.
The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman was the first to report the hiring.
Bringing in Gleeson gives the Scarlet Knights an immediate offensive identity, as his stints at Oklahoma State and Princeton showed the ability to adjust the scheme to his talent to author prolific offenses. The three-year contract should give continuity to a coordinator spot that’s been one of the sport’s revolving doors.
Schiano comes from a defensive background and didn’t develop a concise offensive identity during his last stint at Rutgers. That remained a trend after his departure to the NFL in 2011, as Rutgers hasn’t had back-to-back full seasons with the same offensive coordinator since 2010.
As the offensive coordinator at Princeton in 2017 and 2018, Gleeson coordinated offenses that dominated the Ivy League and were among the elite in all of FCS. In 2018, Princeton scored 47.0 points per game, which ranked the Tigers as the No. 1 scoring offense in the FCS. Princeton went 10-0 that season and dominated the Ivy League. That led to reported interest from Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, Mike Gundy told The Athletic in August.
In 2017 under Gleeson, Princeton finished No. 3 nationally in scoring offense. What’s perhaps most impressive for Gleeson is that Princeton put up big numbers with different style quarterbacks. Pro-style quarterback Chad Kanoff and dual-threat John Lovett both won Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year in consecutive seasons under Gleeson, which showcases ability to adapt to personnel.
The hiring marks a homecoming for Gleeson, who grew up in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, and went to high school at the Delbarton School in Morristown, New Jersey. After a prep year at Trinity-Pawling in New York, he attended Williams College in Western Massachusetts. He coached at Delbarton and Fairleigh Dickinson before getting hired at Princeton as the running backs coach in 2013. He rose to offensive coordinator in 2017.
Rutgers finished No. 129 out of 130 FBS teams in scoring offense last season, averaging just 13.3 points per game on their way to a 2-10 record. Both head coach Chris Ash and offensive coordinator John McNulty were fired in late September.
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