PISCATAWAY, NJ – With rumors swirling about whether Rutgers University’s football program will move forward with an offer to name Greg Schiano as head coach of the Scarlet Knights, a role he held from 2001-2011, Piscataway’s mayor, Brian C. Wahler voiced his frustration with the team.
“As the mayor of Piscataway Township, the host of Rutgers Football, I am greatly disappointed at the lack of success Rutgers Football has had since entering the Big Ten,” said Wahler in a statement on Monday. “I am particularly disappointed in Rutgers’ inability to successfully negotiate a contract with Coach Greg Schiano.”
Under Schiano’s tenure, the Scarlet Knights reached six postseason bowl games between 2005-11.
“When Schiano was the head football coach at Rutgers, he was a Piscataway resident and contributed immensely to our community,” said Wahler. “He was more than just a football coach; he was also a role model to his players. Not only did the team win games on the football field when Coach Schiano was here, he had the top academic football program in the country.”
Former head coach Chris Ash was fired after a 1-3 start this season. Offensive coach, Nunzio Campanile was named interim head coach while athletic officials search for a permanent replacement for Ash.
“A successful football program is important to the Central Jersey area as it provides huge sports and economic opportunities,” Wahler continued. “When Rutgers had a winning program previously under Coach Schiano, the football stadium and program generated jobs. Area hotels and restaurants were full, benefiting Piscataway and other nearby towns far beyond the accolades we received each weekend when the team played on television and the sports announcers said, “Live from Piscataway!”
The Scarlet Knights are currently 2-9 with their recent loss to Michigan State University. They take on 9-2 Penn State this Saturday, Nov. 30 in Beaver Falls, PA.
“As the mayor of Piscataway, an alumnus of the University and a season ticket holder, I urge the university to renew its efforts to sign Coach Schiano to a long-term contract and resolve this coaching situation so we can once again be proud of Rutgers Football,” said Wahler.
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