Rutgers hires Toby Neinas as director of player personnel

Former Colorado special teams coordinator Toby Neinas is Rutgers's new director of player personnel, according to a source.
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Former Colorado special teams coordinator Toby Neinas is the new director of player personnel for Rutgers coach Chris Ash, according to a source.

It’s a reuniting of Ash and Neinas, who were assistants together at San Diego State from 2007–08. Ash was the Aztecs’s defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator both seasons while Neinas coached the program’s special teams each season and outside linebackers in ’07 before moving to tight ends the next year.

This past season was Neinas’s third in his position at Colorado, where he resigned in December to pursue other opportunities. Before his time in Boulder, the well-respected Neinas was Montana State’s secondary coach for a year.

He was an assistant at New Mexico from 2009–11. Neinas spent his first two years as special teams coordinator and linebackers coach before becoming the program’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach his final season. While with the Lobos, Neinas tutored linebacker Carmen Messina, who led the FBS in tackles in 2009 and finished his career as the Mountain West’s career leader in tackles.

In addition to Neinas’s two seasons with Ash at San Diego State, he was also the Aztecs’s outside linebackers and special teams coach in 2006.

The 44-year-old Neinas was an assistant at Temple from 2002–05, coaching the defensive line his first two years before moving to inside linebackers his last two years. In his first season with the Owls, he helped future NFL defensive tackle Dan Klecko become the Big East’s Defensive Player of the Year.

A Kansas City, Kan., native, he was an assistant at UAB from 1996–2001, coaching four future NFL draft picks. He started as the program’s outside linebackers coach, coached defensive ends from 1997–98 and oversaw safeties from 1999–2000. His final season with the Blazers was as running backs and tight ends coach.

Neinas was a graduate assistant at North Carolina in 1995 after working with the secondary as a student assistant at his alma mater, Missouri, from ’93–94.

Neinas’s father, Chuck, is the legendary former Big 8 commissioner and executive director of the College Football Association.

Ash was hired as Rutgers’s coach in December after serving as the Ohio State’s co-defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, including for 2014’s national championship run. He replaces former Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood, who was fired after a 4–8 record this past season during which he was suspended for three games due to improperly contacting a professor about a player’s grade. Flood had a 27–24 record in his four seasons with the program.