Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano is seen on the field before an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
Bill Feig
December 11, 2015

Ohio State hired former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano as co-defensive coordinator on Friday.

Schiano, 49, has been out of coaching the past two seasons since being fired by Tampa Bay. He spent two seasons with the Bucs, going 11-21.

Before that he led a massive rebuild at Rutgers, taking one of the worst programs in major college football and turning it into a consistent winner. From 2001-11, the Scarlet Knights went 68-67 under Schiano, going to bowl games in six of their last seven seasons.

Ohio State said Schiano's hiring is pending approval from the school's board of trustees.

Schiano will replace Chris Ash, who left Ohio State to become head coach at Rutgers. Ash spent two years in Columbus working as co-coordinator with Luke Fickell and helping the Buckeyes win the national title in 2014. It took Ohio State coach Urban Meyer less than a week to fill Ash's job with Schiano.

''He is someone I have known for quite some time now and someone who is going to align with our staff extremely well,'' Meyer said in a statement.

Schiano was in the mix for recent head coaching vacancies filled at Miami, Southern California and South Carolina.

Before taking over at Rutgers in his home state of New Jersey, Schiano was defensive coordinator at Miami under Butch Davis. He also spent three seasons as an assistant with the Chicago Bears and five years working for Joe Paterno at Penn State.

At Rutgers, Schiano took over a program that was at the bottom of the Big East and barely competitive with the rest of major college football. It was a slow climb at Rutgers for Schiano. The Scarlet Knights won three games in his first two seasons, then nine total in the next two. Rutgers went 7-5 in 2005 and went to a bowl game for the first time since 1978.

The next year Rutgers went 11-1 and finished the season ranked No. 12 in the country. He had opportunities to leave for other schools, and was pursued by Miami and Michigan, but he did not leave until the NFL came calling afater the 2011 season.

The Buccaneers went 7-9 in his first season and slid to 4-12 in 2013. The team had issues on the field and off, with players complaining about Schiano's unrelenting discipline and micromanagement.

Now he returns to college, with one of the country's elite programs. Ohio State is 49-4 in four seasons under Meyer.

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