Ralph Friedgen is known by many around the college football world as a brilliant offensive mind. The former Maryland head coach is reportedly set to become the new offensive coordinator for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, taking over for Ron Prince who left after one year for a job in the NFL with the Detroit Lions.
Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood has caught come grief from media and fans because it has taken so long to fill the opening coordinator positions. Due to this, many prospects have de-commited and decided to take their talents elsewhere. The hiring of Friedgen is a great step in righting the ship as the program heads into the Big Ten.
Friedgen has been retired for three years after spending 10 as the Maryland Terrapins head coach. In those 10 seasons under Friedgen, Maryland went 75-50 with seven bowl appearances, winning five. Prior to leading the Maryland program, he spent time with Georgia Tech, Murray State, William & Mary, The Citadel, and the San Diego Chargers in the NFL. He now becomes the fifth offensive coordinator Rutgers has had in five years.
It’s expected that Friedgen will be the highest paid coordinator in school history.
As long as it has taken to fill the offensive coordinator position, the opening of defensive coordinator has been even longer. Dave Cohen was fired prior to Rutgers’ Pinstripe Bowl appearance against Notre Dame. Special Teams coordinator, Joe Rossi was named interim DC for the bowl game. He has now been promoted to full time defensive coordinator.
Many around the game know Rossi as a very high football IQ guy. His intensity is something everything mentions when talking about the potential of Rossi. Intensity is something the Rutgers defense needs to regain. Last season, the defensive looked lost, confused, soft, and lazy. There is talent on the defensive side and plenty of young players that now have game experience. It’s now up to Rossi to bring back the toughness that had become a trademark of Rutgers defense’s. If nothing else, at 34, Rossi brings young energy back to a unit in desperate need.
Bob Fraser is reportedly returning to the Rutgers coaching staff. Fraser was the teams’ defensive coordinator in 2011 before following former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano to the NFL where he served as Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker coach. Prior to the 2013 season, he was promoted to assistant defensive coordinator. When Schiano was fired by Tampa Bay after the 2013 season, his staff was let go as well. Fraser is returning to Rutgers, this time as linebacker coach.