- Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
- USA Today is reporting that the University of Tennessee is finalizing a deal to make Greg Schiano their next football coach.
- Schiano had some success at Rutgers, but his most recent stint as a head coach in the NFL was largely viewed as a complete failure.
- The two-year stint in the NFL is best remembered for how he angered a lot of people, including Peyton Manning.
Another chip in the coaching carousel appears to be close to falling, as the University of Tennessee is finalizing a deal to make Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano their next football coach, according to Dan Wolken of USA Today.
Schiano was previously the head coach at Rutgers for 11 seasons and had some success at a program that rarely experiences any. However, Schiano’s coaching record is better known for his most recent stint as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL for two seasons.
The Bucs went 11-21 in those two seasons. ANd those years will best be remembered for how Schiano angered then-New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin in one incident and Tennessee legend Peyton Manning in another.
In just Schiano’s second game as coach of the Bucs, he famously ordered his players to dive for the legs of the Giants players as Eli Manning was taking a knee to run out the clock. The move was universally condemned, and led to Coughlin undressing Schiano after the game.
When Schiano pulled off a similar move in a loss to the Denver Broncos later in the same season, Peyton let Schiano have it and he used language most had never heard Manning use before.
Then Buccaneers defensive lineman Michael Bennett told Mike Silver of NFL.com that Manning “cussed” out Schiano after the game.
“Peyton cussed him out,” Bennett told Silver in 2013. “And I ain’t never heard Peyton cuss.”
So far, the hire by Tennessee is being universally criticized.
Tennessee hiring Schiano is one of the worst coaching moves of the past 10 years, in any sport, on any level.
— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) November 26, 2017
Some other stories from Silver about Schiano’s time in the NFL won’t help. From a 2013 NFL.com account:
I’ve spoken to enough people who’ve played for Schiano during his two NFL seasons to conclude that he treats his players like children, which is a major reason he has lost his locker room.
“How bad is it there? It’s worse than you can imagine,” says one NFL player who spent 2012 with the Bucs. “It’s like being in Cuba.”
Last year, Schiano alienated many of his players and staff members with tantrums like the one I described on “NFL GameDay Morning” last month. According to a current Bucs player — in an account corroborated by another witness — Schiano became enraged during a practice late in the 2012 season when special teams coach Bob Ligashesky walked onto the wrong area of the practice field during a drill.
Instead of merely telling Ligashesky to watch where he walked, Schiano launched into a loud tirade and threatened to fire him if he repeated the mistake. When Ligashesky was let go following the season, it was hard not to draw a connection between the tantrum and that decision.
“I think he just wants to flex his power,” Bennett says. “He has small (man’s) syndrome. I still talk to guys who are there, and trust me, there’s not much respect for him in that locker room.”
It probably also didn’t help that many Vols fans had hoped Tennessee would hire Jon Gruden.