New Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano has left some predictably disappointed feelings behind at Rutgers, where he took over a moribund Big East program in December 2000 and went 68-67 in 11 seasons.
Thursday afternoon he conducted a final meeting with his team on its Piscataway, N.J., campus.
"It was 11 years of everything I had," Schiano said, according to The Star-Ledger. "Saying goodbye to the players was the hardest part -- theyâre my sons."
The 45-year-old Schiano said the surprise decision came together "in the past 48 hours."
"He put his heart and soul into this program, and for him to leave is a big decision," quarterback Gary Nova said. "It was very emotional."
The Buccaneers hired Schiano to replace the fired Raheem Morris as their next coach Thursday, confirming the move shortly after league sources told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora that Schiano was set to be the Bucs' next coach. The Bucs went 4-12 in 2011, losing their last 10 games.
He will be introduced formally at a news conference Friday.
The 45-year old coach said his decision was not driven by financial aspirations.
"That's not why I coach, that'll never be why I coach.
"I've had several opportunities over the years -- some of them you know about, some of them you don't know about -- and none of them felt right," Schiano added, via The Star-Ledger. "This time, this one felt right."
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.