Rutgers coach Schiano saddened by Paterno news

BY foxsports • November 10, 2011

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.


share story