Rutgers fires coordinator Sean Gleeson as offense struggles

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PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Rutgers fired offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson two days after the team’s third straight Big Ten loss.

Head coach Greg Schiano announced the move, which comes following the sixth game of Gleeson’s third season with the Scarlet Knights (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten).

Letting go of the 36-year-old Gleeson marks the first time that Schiano has let go of a coach mid-season.

“It’s my job to make sure we’re playing complimentary football and I feel our football team can win plenty of games when we play complementary football and as the head coach, that’s your job,” Schiano said. “And when it’s not happening, you try to fix it.”

The Rutgers offense has struggled this season. The team ranks No. 108 in total offense (334 yards per game), No. 104 in scoring offense (22.8 PPG) and No. 118 in team passing efficiency. Rutgers lost to Nebraska (3-3, 2-1) 14-13, mustering 85 total yards and no points in the second half.

Meanwhile, Rutgers ranks No. 14 in total defense and No. 16 in third-down conversion percentage defense.

“In college football, at the end of the day, you need to score points. And we just aren’t scoring enough points, and I want our offense to be as much of a weapon as our defense right now. That’s not to drive any kind of wedge. I think we’re capable of doing that.”

Tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile will serve as the interim offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Campanile served as the interim head coach at Rutgers between Schiano’s hiring and his predecessor Chris Ash‘s firing.

While he has a short list of candidates in his back pocket, Schiano said he will focus on Gleeson’s permanent replacement after the season. As the interim, Campanile will essentially have a seven-week tryout, Schiano said.

Gleeson was hired by Schiano as his first offensive coordinator in his second stint at the school.

Rutgers has the week off before hosting Indiana (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) on Saturday, Oct. 22.

Gleeson, from Glenn Ridge, New Jersey, was the first Rutgers assistant to be paid over a million dollars. He’ll be paid the remainder of his salary on his deal, which is set to expire after 2023. He will be paid $1,025,000 this year and $1,050,000 in 2023.

Seen as a wunderkind for his work coordinating Princeton and Oklahoma State’s offense, he began his tenure at Rutgers with some innovative play-calling. However, the offense has struggled to produce yards or points this season.

The Scarlet Knights have had a quarterback carousel, with senior captain Noah Vedral injured to start the season. Prized recruit Gavin Wimsatt was injured in the third game of the season, and Evan Simon was also splitting time.

“I believe we can win games this year, otherwise, I wouldn’t have made this change,” Schiano said. “You can do it the traditional way and wait until the end of the season, but I believe we can win games this year if we play complimentary football. That’s why it happened now.”

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”