Greg Schiano '88 (business administration) is set to begin his first season as head coach of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
By E.J. Crawford '99
Q: During your 11 years as head coach at Rutgers, which included the first five bowl victories in school history and the 2006 NCAA Coach of the Year award, your name was mentioned for a number of prominent coaching positions. What was it about this opportunity with the Buccaneers that led you to finally take the leap?
A: At the end of the process with some of the other opportunities, it just didn't feel right. As I went further and further along with this process, it did feel right. My feelings for it became stronger, so I took that as a signal. And after talking it over with my family and a lot of prayer, I decided it was time to make a change.
Q: You're the first Bucknell alum ever to be named head coach of an NFL team. What does it mean to you to hold that distinction?
A: I don't really think of it that way. Certainly I enjoy what I do and I'm blessed to have the opportunity to do it. When your job is something you really enjoy, I don't think you can take that for granted.
Q: How did your time at Bucknell shape the coach you've become, both at Rutgers and now as you prepare to lead the Buccaneers?
A: Through all your experiences you gain some wisdom and take some things from people. I know I did from Bob Curtis and George Landis, my two head coaches [at Bucknell], and from my position coach Lou Maranzana and my recruiting coach Joe Susan. From them I was able to take some things and borrow some things and incorporate them into my own coaching philosophy.
Q: You mentioned Joe Susan, the current head coach at Bucknell. He was on your staff at Rutgers, as was Jay Butler '91, who is now on your staff with the Buccaneers. How important has it been to you to maintain those relationships and ties to the University, and what's the No. 1 thing you carry with you from your time at Bucknell to your new career as a head coach in the NFL?
A: The No. 1 thing is my wife, Christy Mitchell Schiano '90. We met through Bucknell and have four kids now, so it's pretty hard to top that. I've been blessed with my time at Bucknell and the people I met. I made some really great friends with some really great people who I've stayed in contact with. You're a product of all your experiences, and Bucknell was a big experience of mine.