Rutgers coach Schiano saddened by Paterno news

It wasn’t a surprise that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano was

saddened by the news that Joe Paterno would be retiring as Penn

State’s football at the end of the season in the wake of a child

sex abuse scandal involving one of his trusted former coaches.

”Joe Pa” gave Schiano his big break in coaching and seeing the

84-year-old legend having to call it a career on not really his own

terms hurt.

”I love coach Paterno so am I emotional,” Schiano said

Wednesday after Rutgers finished practice for Saturday’s game

against Army. ”People you love and care about, this is a hard

thing for him, I’m sure. I know it is. So it hurts me when someone

you love hurts.”

Paterno hired Schiano to be a graduate assistant in 1990 and

promoted him to defensive backs coach the next year.

Schiano also isn’t letting the situation with Paterno distract

from his job of preparing Rutgers (6-3) for its game at Yankee

Stadium.

”I know he’d want me to do nothing else but take care of my

team,” said Schiano, who is in his 11th season at Rutgers and has

the Scarlet Knights bowl eligible for the sixth time in seven

years. ”He’s not a big sentimental guy. `Do your job, kid.’ That’s

what he’d say.”

Schiano spent six seasons total at Penn State before working

three years with the Chicago Bears and two at the University of

Miami and eventually taking over Rutgers in 2001.

While with the Nittany Lions, he worked under defensive

coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with molesting

eight boys in 15 years, including one at the Penn State football

complex.

Schiano said he knew Paterno would eventually retire but he said

it was hard to see him make his decision under the current

circumstances.

”I’ll be rooting for coach Paterno,” Schiano said. ”Hopefully

he has a great end to these next couple of weeks. The whole thing

is sad.”

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Paterno has had a tremendous

career. In fact, he said he played for Syracuse against Penn State

in Paterno’s first season as the Nittany Lions head coach.

”I have admired him for a long time,” Coughlin said.

Paterno has been the head coach at Penn State since 1966 and has

409 wins, a record for a major college football coach. He has led

the Nittany Lions to 37 postseason bowl games and two national

titles.

Coughlin said no coach may ever have that type of longevity

again because there is less patience with coaches, more pressure

and more money involved.

”The game is such it is very rare that you would have anyone

with that kind of impact on the game the way he has over the

years,” Coughlin said.