The Rookie: Is Kyle Flood Off To A Better Start Than His Predecessor?
When Greg Schiano left Rutgers to become the head coach of the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Scarlet Knights turned to a familiar face in former offensive line coach Kyle Flood. Flood has done a great job in his first year as the 29th head coach to Rutgers.
But how does he really stack up against the prior coach? Schiano served at Rutgers University for 11 years and transformed the Scarlet Knights into a consistently competitive and respected football program.
When Schiano started with the Scarlet Knights in 2001, his record was a mere 2-9, while this season Flood has shown an impressive 9-3 season in his first year. It took Schiano nearly 6 years to have a record as impressive as Flood’s, with an 11-2 season in 2006. In fact, Schiano’s winning records did not improve until Flood signed on as an assistant in 2005. In the past 50 years (and out of the past six head coaches) no Rutgers head coach has posted a better record as Flood. Even his counterpart in the Russell Athletic Bowl, Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer, took seven years to reach a record of 9-3.
Although Flood fell just short of taking the Knights to their first BCS game, he was able to help Rutgers become a Big East Conference Co-Champion. This is their first share of a conference championship since 1974 when they won the Middle Three Conference Championship.
No doubt Flood has seen the benefit of Schiano’s recruiting and details-oriented approach to managing the program. By keeping the head coaching position inside the family, the Scarlet Knights were able to continue the standard of success rather than hitting the reset button. Time will tell if Flood can build on that standard, but a win in the Russell Athletic Bowl would give the Knights double-digit wins, a feat they only accomplished once under Schiano.