PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Interim coach Kyle Flood interviewed for the head coaching job to replace Greg Schiano at Rutgers.
Schiano stepped down Thursday to take over the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Flood said that none of the 17 high school players who committed to Rutgers have changed their mind before national signing day.
“The response from the recruiting class is just tremendous,” Flood said at an impromptu news conference at halftime of Saturday’s Cincinnati-Rutgers game.
“As of now, everyone who committed to us from the beginning is still committed to us. And we intend on keeping it that way.”
Flood added that he thought his interview went very well as he goes after his first head coaching job.
“I’ve been working 19 years for this,” he said. “Either John Wooden or Bill Walsh said you’re never ready for your first head coaching job, but I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”
Schiano surprised Rutgers when he accepted Tampa’s offer. He had previously turned down Miami and Michigan to stay at the school, where he served as head coach for 11 years.
Flood said he didn’t see it coming.
“In this profession things happen quickly,” Flood said. “When someone has turned down the amount of opportunities coach Schiano did, you think he’s going to keep turning them down. That’s fair to say.”
Flood has been Rutgers offensive line coach for the past seven years and feels that the experience of working with Schiano will help him in this role.
Athletic Director Tim Pernetti did not put a firm deadline on when a coach would be in place, but said it was doable that it could happen by signing day.
Flood feels hiring from within the program would help maintain recruits, noting that “recruiting is always about relationships” and that the recruits have already built relationships with the current coaching staff.
He added that the players already in school have slowly adjusted to Thursday’s news.
“I think there’s always a little bit of the feeling of they don’t understand why when something like this happens,” Flood said. “As time goes on it gets a little easier for them. I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of support from the players for the Rutgers program.”
“The program continues to go forward. It hasn’t stopped.”
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.