Greg Schiano is headed back to the NFL.
The former Rutgers and Buccaneers head coach will be named the Patriots new defensive coordinator, according to the Boston Globe. He will replace Brian Flores, who left to become the head coach of the Dolphins after helping New England win the Super Bowl as its defensive playcaller. The Patriots didn’t officially have a defensive coordinator this season.
Schiano, who ESPN says will fly to Boston on Monday, left Ohio State after three seasons as its defensive coordinator under the now-retired Urban Meyer to pursue opportunities in the NFL. The Patriots hiring Schiano shouldn’t come as a surprise. He is a friend of head coach Bill Belichick and Schiano coached his son Stephen for one season at Rutgers.
Schiano, who led the Buccaneers for two seasons, was in line to become the head coach at the University of Tennessee in 2017. The school eventually pulled back on their commitment after receiving backlash over Schiano’s time at Penn State. He was an assistant coach on Joe Paterno’s staff that included convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky.
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Belichick praised Schiano during a press conference at the time when asked about him possibly getting hired by Tennessee.
“I think Greg’s a tremendous coach,” Belichick said. “I’ve learned an awful lot from him and had an opportunity to spend a lot of time with him when he was at Rutgers and Stephen [Belichick] was at Rutgers and I’d go down there. … He’s done a great job at Ohio State. He’s one of the very best coaches I think in our profession. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Greg and the way he runs his program and the job that he does.”