Schiano leaves Rutgers for Tampa Bay

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers must have been serious about finding a new coach from the college ranks.

After a strong flirtation with Oregon's Chip Kelly last weekend, the Bucs on Thursday have reportedly settled on Rutgers' Greg Schiano.

Numerous reports earlier on Thursday indicated that Schiano was finalizing contract details with the Buccaneers, while the Newark Star-Ledger has cited a source as saying Rutgers now needs a new head coach.

Tampa Bay needed a replacement for Raheem Morris, who was fired earlier this month after the Buccaneers closed out a 4-12 season with a 10-game losing streak.

Schiano spent the past 11 seasons at Rutgers and posted a record of 68-67 at the New Jersey school. He turned around a Scarlet Knights program that had just one bowl appearance prior to his arrival into a perennial postseason contender.

Rutgers has been to bowl games in six of the past seven seasons, including a Pinstripe Bowl win over Iowa State in December that capped a 9-4 season. The Scarlet Knights have a record of 56-33 in the past seven years, with only one losing season in that span.

Schiano, who had been the longest-tenured head coach in the Big East, has minimal NFL experience. He was a defensive assistant with the Chicago Bears in 1996-97 and the club's defensive backfield coach in '98.

The 45-year-old New Jersey native was also an assistant at Penn State from 1991-95 and the defensive coordinator at Miami-Florida from 1999-2000 before taking over the moribund Rutgers program.

Things started slowly at Rutgers, as Schiano's first four teams won a combined 12 games. The 2005 squad went 7-5 and reached a bowl game, setting the stage for one of the program's best-ever seasons.

In 2006, led by future Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice, the Scarlet Knights went 11-2 and captured the school's first-ever bowl victory with a 37-10 triumph over Kansas State in the Texas Bowl. Rutgers finished 12th in the national rankings that season and Schiano was honored with numerous coach of the year honors.