Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano reacts after winning the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.
The hiring of Rutgers coach Greg Schiano to fill the vacant Buccaneers job moved at light speed Thursday morning, and now according to CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy, the deal is done and Schiano has accepted the job.
The hiring of Schiano is a big surprise, considering his name wasn't mentioned among the numerous other candidates who the Buccaneers supposedly were after (including Oregon's Chip Kelly, who accepted the job before changing his mind, and Mike Sherman and Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, who were offered second interviews).
But according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the two sides met twice without any word leaking to the media, including Wednesday. Apparently, Bill Rees -- who's in charge of Tampa Bay's college scouting -- stayed in touch with Schiano throughout the hiring process.
So, it appears the Buccaneers had Schiano -- who will replace Raheem Morris after his 4-12 season -- in mind the entire time.
While many observers have questioned the hire, Schiano does have solid credentials. He was a Bears secondary coach from 1996-98, and he turned the Rutgers program from a laughingstock into an annual Big East title contender.
Schiano, who went 68-67 during his tenure, was the FWAA coach of the year in 2006 and led the Scarlet Knights to four-straight bowl victories (before Schiano came aboard, Rutgers had made just one bowl in its 135-year history).
But if the Buccaneers wanted to hire an exciting coach to replace a fanbase disillusioned by Morris' final year, this probably isn't the way to do it. Chip Kelly probably would have created enthusiasm and excitement. While Schiano's schemes are probably more suited to the NFL, his buzz factor is quite a bit lower.
(CBS Sports) -- While the Buccaneers coaching search has turned somewhat disastrous -- a flip-flop rejection from Oregon's Chip Kelly will do that for you -- it seems like Tampa Bay also is getting closer to naming their next head coach.
And that new head coach is reportedly Rutgers coach Greg Schiano.
620 WDAE in Tampa reported (via the Tampa Bay Tribune) that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano also is a candidate, and ESPN's Adam Schefter later reported that team plans to hire Schiano and that the two sides are working out a contract agreement.
The Newark Star Ledger reported earlier this month that Schiano wouldn't have an interest in coaching in the NFL. Schiano, 46, was a secondary coach for the Bears from 1996-98, and he's been at Rutgers for the past 11 years. In the past, he's turned down potential head coaching opportunities at the University of Michigan and the University of Miami.
Schiano is 68-67 at Rutgers.
But like the Chip Kelly story, this potential hire has seemingly come ouf nowhere.
As CBSSports.com's Will Brinson wrote Wednesday, former Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman and Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski were reported to haved receive second interviews with the team. On Thursday, Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray told the Tampa Bay Times that he's officially out of the running.
"Told me they were going in a different direction," Gray told the newspaper.
Gray found out he was no longer in the running during an early-morning call from Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik, and the paper also reported that a source said the team is planning to continue paring down the coaching candidate list today.
Other than Chudzinski, Sherman and Gray, the team also was connected to Marty Schottenheimer, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, new Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips (who pulled his name out of the search a few weeks ago) and Packers quarterback coach Tom Clements.
Gray also had been a candidate for the Colts job that went to Chuck Pagano on Wednesday.
The Bucs fired Raheem Morris earlier this month after Tampa Bay went 4-12 in his third season with the team.
Josh Katzowitz, CBS Sports. The Associated Press contributed to this report.