Greg Schiano has hired his defensive coordinator, and it will be a familiar face for Rutgers.
Tuesday morning, Rutgers announced that former Minnesota defensive coordinator Robb Smith will now run the defense in Piscataway for the 2020 season. Smith did previously work under Schiano at Rutgers from 2009-11, when he was the special teams coordinator and rotated between coaching cornerbacks and linebackers.
In 2012, Smith was the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Rutgers before rejoining Schiano with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers to coach linebackers.
“Robb is one of the best defensive coaches I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” Schiano said. “We are fortunate to have him joining our staff. He works tirelessly to develop players and help them reach their full potential. We are excited to have him and his family back home.”
After leaving Schiano, Smith went on to be the defensive coordinator and secondary coach on Bret Bielema’s staff at Arkansas from 2014-16. When P.J. Fleck took the head coaching job at Minnesota, Smith was hired to run the defense for the Gophers.
Smith spent almost two seasons in the Twin Cities, but was fired late in the 2018 season by Fleck. In 2019, Smith worked as a defensive analyst on Jimbo Fisher’s staff at Texas A&M.
“I am excited to be back at Rutgers,” Smith said. “We had great success our first time around together and I look forward to working with Coach Schiano again to accomplish our unfinished business. My family and I are glad to be back in New Jersey.”
Rutgers finished the 2019 season with a 2-10 record.