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Rutgers' Kyle Flood gets a two-year contract extension

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Ted S. Warren/Associated Press
Rutgers coach Kyle Flood has guided the Scarlet Knights to a 2-0 record to start the 2014 season.

SMU coach June Jones resigned two games into the season Monday -- but a bigger eyebrow-raiser involving a coach happened Thursday.

Rutgers gave coach Kyle Flood, who is in his third season at the school, a two-year contract extension that carries him through the 2018 season.

While Flood, 43, was the lowest-paid coach in the Big Ten before the extension at $950,000, the school is showing a bunch of faith in a guy who hasn't yet proved he can be a FBS head coach -- and whose contract already had two more full seasons to go.

The extension means Flood -- who only has coached at Rutgers on the FBS level -- now will earn $1.25 million next year, and his salary increases gradually to $1.55 million in 2018. Meanwhile, the language with the buyout means if he is terminated without cause through mid-February 2019, he receives $1.4 million; under his current contract, Flood's buyout was $700,000 this year, $500,000 next year and no buyout after that.

"Stability" is a word that is thrown around in the wake of every extension, but can Flood make Rutgers a winner in the Big Ten?

Flood was the Scarlet Knights' offensive line coach when Greg Schiano unexpectedly left to become the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' coach on Jan. 26, 2012. With Schiano leaving less than a week before National Signing Day, Rutgers promoted Flood -- a Rutgers alum -- five days later.

Rutgers finished 9-4 that season. The Scarlet Knights began the season 7-0, but faltered down the stretch, including a shocking Game 8 upset loss to Kent State. They also lost to Pitt, Louisville and Virginia Tech (in a bowl), and of the nine wins, just two came against teams that finished with a winning record. Last season, Rutgers started 4-1 but finished 6-7. Of the six wins, zero came against teams that finished with a winning record.

This season, the Scarlet Knights are 2-0, having beaten winless Washington State and FCS opponent Howard. Rutgers plays its first-ever Big Ten game Saturday at home against Penn State.

Flood hired agent Jimmy Sexton in June, and Sexton is known for getting top dollar for his clients. Then again, most of his clients are top-shelf coaches. That he was able to get Flood an extension before Flood ever has coached a Big Ten game is just more evidence Sexton knows how to negotiate.

"Kyle Flood is a tremendous coach for our football team and has earned the opportunity to lead us into the Big Ten and build on our program successes," AD Julie Hermann said in a statement released by the school. "With the generosity of private funding, we are pleased to invest in our Head Coach and our entire staff at a level more consistent with our Big Ten peers."

Hermann was hired in May 2013 as AD, but quickly became embroiled in a controversy when it was reported that she had to quit as Tennessee's volleyball coach in 1997 after players complained that she humiliated and emotionally abused them. She was hired to replace Tom Pernetti, who was let go after then-basketball coach Mike Rice was fired for abusive behavior.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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