A Reason To Believe: Rutgers Set To Hire Ohio State Defensive Coordinator Chris Ash As Next Head Coach
I'm going to be honest. At one point, early in the process, I was hoping that Greg Schiano would be the man to take the Rutgers Head Coaching position and potentially finish what he started. Call it nostalgia. Call it an undying need to see a competent defense. Whatever it was, I felt like it made too much sense not to happen. Over the course of the last few days I realized something, the only reason I really wanted Greg Schiano back was because he was the safe choice. We knew what we would be getting with him. Great recruiting, great program builder, subpar game day coach, etc, etc. All things that sounded exponentially better than watching a half-wit feverishly scribble down with memoirs on the sidelines as it rained on his head through the hole in his visor. While there are worse things in life than playing it safe, to achieve true greatness a certain amount of risk is required.
Hiring a young, hungry, ACCOMPLISHED defensive coordinator from last year's National Champions is exactly that. A risk. A calculated risk, but a risk nonetheless. No, he has never been a Head Coach at the college level, but neither had the man I originally wanted to take the job when he took the Rutgers job so many years prior. That didn't turn out too bad, did it? I'll tell you what Chris Ash has done. He played a significant part in taking Wisconsin, a team that historically has bad quarterback play, to three straight Rose Bowls. He coached the defense of a team that managed to shock the world in going undefeated and winning a National Championship. The brilliant minds in coaching have to start somewhere, so why not have that somewhere be Piscataway, New Jersey?
Do I know if Chris Ash is a great coach? No, I don't. I know he has obviously been a successful coach. Do I know if he is a great recruiter? No, I don't. I know he has singlehandedly recruited some of the best young players in the sport to play at The Ohio State University. The man deserves his chance to shine, and Rutgers deserves a coach that can grow with this team. A coach that can institute a sense of discipline with this team. A coach that can change a culture that has proven to be flawed. A coach that won't accept the mere mediocrity his predecessor embraced. It's not a coincidence that Chris Ash had multiple offers, and it's not a coincidence he choose the one that he did. By all accounts he is an extremely driven individual that will settle for nothing less than success, and his resume speaks to exactly that. Hopefully he and Rutgers are a match made in heaven, and while it's far from the certainty, all signs seem to be pointing in the right direction.
....Plus, he was a finalist for the Syracuse job, and it ALWAYS feels nice to backdoor the Orange.