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Surprise: Buccaneers turn to Rutgers' Schiano as next coach

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hired Rutgers' Greg Schiano as their next coach Thursday, confirming the move shortly after league sources told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora about it.

Bucs general manager Mark Dominik told The Associated Press that Schiano will receive a five-year contract.

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The Bucs scheduled a Friday news conference to introduce Schiano, who inherits a team that allowed the most points in the NFL this season.

"Coach Schiano is a bright, meticulous teacher who knows how to get the most out of his players," Dominik said in a statement released by the team. "He built and ran a pro-style program at Rutgers, and he's a defensive-minded coach whose teams have always been characterized by toughness and a physical style of play."

League sources told La Canfora that the Bucs notified other candidates of their decision Thursday. The team was being cautious about making the hiring public after Oregon coach Chip Kelly changed his mind about coming to Tampa Bay just before a deal was to be signed.

The Bucs have been searching for a coach for most of the month, but Schiano hadn't been publicly mentioned in connection with the vacancy until Thursday. La Canfora had reported earlier in the day that Tampa Bay was considering the Rutgers coach.

Schiano, 45, was at Rutgers for 11 seasons, compiling a 68-67 record. The Scarlet Knights were 9-4 this season, including a 4-3 record in the Big East Conference.

"During our thorough search, we met with numerous impressive candidates, but Coach Schiano surely distinguished himself," Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said in the team-issued statement. "From his leadership skills to his considerable track record, he is, simply put, the right man for the job."

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Former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman was among the candidates who lost out to Schiano, along with Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, also a candidate, told The Tennessean that he had pulled out of the running for the position, an indication the Bucs had narrowed down their search.

Schiano's coaching experience is mostly in college football, including stints at Miami and Penn State, but he did spend time with the Chicago Bears, serving as a defensive assistant from 1996 to 1997 and as a defensive backfield coach in 1998.

The Star-Ledger reported earlier this month that Schiano didn't want to coach in the NFL after his name had been linked to vacancies. Schiano's contract with Rutgers runs through 2016 and pays him around $2.35 million per year.

The Bucs have been looking for a new coach since they fired Raheem Morris following a 4-12 season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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