August 14, 2018 | ° F

Flood names new coordinators, assistant

With National Signing Day on Wednesday, Rutgers head football coach Kyle Flood announced Friday the filling of three coaching vacancies.

Ralph Friedgen, most recently Maryland’s head coach from 2001 to 2010, will become the Scarlet Knights’ fifth offensive coordinator in five seasons after former coach Ron Prince left the program Jan. 18 to become an assistant head coach for the Detroit Lions.

The 66-year-old Friedgen guided Maryland to seven bowl games and previously coached both collegiate and professional offenses for nearly three decades. He won a Super Bowl ring with the San Diego Chargers in 1994.

He was also the national coach of the year in 2001 when he guided the Terrapins to an ACC title.

“We could not have found a better coach or person to lead our offense than Ralph,” Flood said in a statement. “His track record of success both in college and the NFL is second to none on the offensive side of the ball. He will be a tremendous addition to our Rutgers football family.”

After a nearly two-month long search for a new defensive coordinator, Flood settled on promoting interim coach Joe Rossi.

Rossi, previously Rutgers’ special teams coach for two seasons, coordinated the defense in the Dec. 28 New Pinstripe Bowl after Dave Cohen’s Dec. 8 firing. The Knights allowed the most passing yards in school history this past season.

Flood said Jan. 6 in his season-ending teleconference there were no limitations on job candidates with Rutgers entering the Big Ten.

The Star-Ledger reported Jan. 15 that Robb Smith, Rutgers’ defensive coordinator in 2012, met with Flood and had the job back if he wanted it. Nothing came to fruition.

“All along we were fortunate to know we had an excellent option at defensive coordinator already in our program in Joe Rossi,” Flood said in a statement. “Joe has shown he is a tremendous teacher of the game and has been able to maximize the talent of our players. I am excited to promote one of the nation’s most promising defensive coaches.”

Bob Fraser will serve as Rossi’s replacement as special teams coordinator, as well as linebackers coach. He has experience as Rutgers’ defensive coordinator in 2011 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ assistant defensive coordinator this past season.

“Bob is one of the most knowledgeable coaching minds I have been around,” Flood said. “His expertise in our Rutgers defense will be an excellent resource for our staff. We have prided ourselves in our special teams play and I look for that to continue under Bob.”

By Greg Johnson

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