Chris Ash was never able to get Rutgers off the ground when it came to on-field success. Despite his best efforts, the Scarlet Knights sat at the bottom of the B1G, never threatening to hit the 6-win mark and get into the postseason.

Rutgers didn’t hit the 6-win mark in 2021 either, finishing with a 5-7 record to close out Greg Schiano’s second season in his return to Piscataway. But thanks to Texas A&M opting out of the Gator Bowl and Rutgers’ high Academic Progress Rate (APR), the program is heading to Jacksonville.

Ironically, that’s where Ash is now situated, serving as the defensive backs coach for the Jaguars. In an interview with, the former Rutgers head coach said he was thrilled everyone got the opportunity to play in the postseason.

“I would say I’m very excited for Greg and the staff to be able to go to a bowl game, and for Rutgers fans to be able to experience a bowl game, and mostly really thrilled for the players because I know what they’ve been through and how hard they’ve worked to get this opportunity,’’ Ash said. “I’m really excited for everybody involved.’’

This year’s Gator Bowl will be Rutgers’ first postseason appearance since 2014, when it defeated North Carolina 40-21 in the Quick Lane Bowl. The Scarlet Knights closed that season with an 8-5 record.

It was the last time Rutgers finished the year with a winning record.

The Scarlet Knights will take on Wake Forest in the Gator Bowl on New Year’s Eve with an 11 a.m. ET kickoff. While Ash won’t be in attendance, he has nothing but well wishes for the program.

“I just wish them the best of luck, and I’m happy they get this opportunity,” Ash said.