PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — If Rutgers had been off on the first weekend in October last season, the school might have lured former Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen out of retirement a lot earlier.
Scarlet Knights coach Kyle Flood disclosed Tuesday that he talked to Friedgen about becoming the team's offensive coordinator last season, but was turned down because the veteran coach's daughter, Kelly, was getting married.
"I had too much money sunk into it to say I could coach unless he had an open date on Oct. 5," Friedgen quipped.
When Flood telephoned again after offensive coordinator Ron Prince left Rutgers to join the Detroit Lions, the 66-year-old Friedgen jumped at the chance to return to the college ranks.
"I really missed the association with the players," Friedgen said in a conference call to introduce the Scarlet Knights' three new coordinators. "That was the biggest thing I missed. I couldn't replace that in my life. '
Friedgen said working in a recent all-star game got his coaching juices flowing again. Having his wife, Gloria, tell him to get out of the house more also helped.
With the exception of receiver Brandon Coleman, who is leaving school early to join the NFL, Friedgen gets most of his offense back for Rutgers' first season in the Big Ten Conference. The biggest question will be whether quarterback Gary Nova can regain the job he lost because of ineffectiveness during a 6-7 season.
Friedgen has been meeting with players and watching videotape since being hired five days ago, the same day that Flood promoted Joe Rossi to defensive coordinator and hired Bob Fraser as special teams coordinator.