Chris Ash signs 5-year contract extension through 2022
Head coach Chris Ash signed an updated contract that will keep him in Piscataway for five more years through 2022, according to NJ Advance Media. The contract extends the five-year, $11 million deal agreed upon back in December 2015.
Since taking over the Rutgers football team's coaching duties last year, Ash is 6-18. After a disappointing 2-10 finish in his first season in 2016, Ash came back in 2017 and led the Scarlet Knights (4-8, 3-6) to their first Big Ten wins in two years — three of them to be exact — over Illinois (2-10, 0-9), Purdue (6-6, 4-5) and Maryland (4-8, 2-7).
Ash also helped keep Rutgers close against teams like then-No. 5 Washington (10-2, 7-2), Nebraska (4-8, 3-6) and Michigan (8-4, 5-4).
When looking strictly at the record, it may seem like Ash's record with the Knights leaves a lot to be desired, but history has shown that rebuilding at Rutgers takes more than just two years.
Former head coach Greg Schiano, who remains one of the most lauded to take the reins in the history of the program, received a similar contract extension after his first two years on the Banks in which he finished a combined 3-20.
So despite finishing the 2017 campaign with three consecutive losses leaving them out of bowl contention, a simple eye test would show that the Knights are at least back on their way to competing in the postseason once again.
That much has convinced Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs, who shows complete confidence in the head coach he brought to Rutgers, a sentiment noted in this contract extension.
"When I hired Chris two years ago, I knew I was getting a great coach and the right coach for Rutgers," Hobbs said in an interview with NJ Advance Media.
With that, Hobbs trusts Ash can resurrect the Knights football culture and bring Rutgers to the forefront of the Big Ten.
The tide has begun to turn for the Knights and whether the ship is headed in the right direction remains to be seen, but for now, Ash will at least have the resources to do what he set out to do when he first arrived at Rutgers.
"Given the many challenges facing the program, I wanted him to know that he would have the time it would take to be successful in the Big Ten," Hobbs said to NJ Advance Media. "We play in the toughest division of the best conference in the country. We're making the investments that will bring success."
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