Rutgers is the first FBS program to change head coaches during the 2019 season, as Chris Ash was fired on Sunday after the program’s loss to Michigan in Week 5. Nunzio Campanile will take over as the interim coach for the remainder of the year. In addition to Ash, offensive coordinator John McNulty was also dismissed.
Ash had no prior experience as a head coach before taking over at Rutgers and worked as an assistant at Wisconsin, Arkansas and Ohio State before landing in New Brunswick. Ash went 8-32 in his tenure with the Scarlet Knights and never won more than four games in a season.
Rutgers Football: 5 Coaching Candidates to Replace Chris Ash
Chris Creighton, Head Coach, Eastern Michigan
Creighton’s record at Eastern Michigan is only 25-41, but this job is one of the toughest in college football. The Eagles went 3-21 in Creighton’s first two years (2014-15) on the job but have claimed at least five victories in each of the last three full seasons. Eastern Michigan has played in only three bowl games in its program history – two of those have come under Creighton’s watch. Prior to Eastern Michigan, Creighton went 32-9 at Ottawa, 63-15 at Wabash and 41-22 at Drake.
Butch Jones, Former Tennessee Head Coach
Jones was let go at Tennessee during the 2017 season after a 34-27 record over five years. Prior to his stint with the Volunteers, Jones went 27-13 at Central Michigan (2007-09) and 23-14 at Cincinnati (2010-12). He currently works in an off-field role at Alabama.
Greg Schiano, Former Rutgers Head Coach
Schiano figures to be at the top of the list to replace Ash. From 2001-11, Schiano guided the program to a 68-67 record and six bowl trips. He left to be Tampa Bay’s head coach from 2012-13 and worked at Ohio State for three years (2016-18).
Lance Leipold, Head Coach, Buffalo
Leipold took over as Buffalo’s head coach in 2015 after going 109-6 with six Division III national titles at Wisconsin-Whitewater from 2007-14. The Bulls are 25-30 under Leipold’s watch but have showed steady improvement after winning seven games from 2015-16. Buffalo finished 6-6 in ’17 and went 10-4 with a MAC East title last season.
Bob Surace, Head Coach, Princeton
Surace has been mentioned by NJ.com as a potential candidate for this job. The Pennsylvania native is 50-42 since taking over Princeton’s head coach prior to the 2010 season. The Tigers won just two games in Surace’s first two years on the job. However, Princeton has not won fewer than five in each of the last seven seasons and posted a perfect 10-0 mark in 2018.