Rutgers' Flood honored to coach against Temple's Addazio

Kyle Flood , a first-year head coach, has Rutgers off to a 6-0 start. MEL EVANS / AP
Kyle Flood , a first-year head coach, has Rutgers off to a 6-0 start. MEL EVANS / AP
Posted: October 16, 2012

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - In hindsight, Temple football coach Steve Addazio probably hopes he didn't teach Rutgers coach Kyle Flood too much.

Flood, the first-year Rutgers coach, brings his 6-0 Scarlet Knights into Saturday's Big East matchup with Temple at Lincoln Financial Field. Both teams are unbeaten in the Big East, with Rutgers 3-0 and Temple 2-0.

When Flood was an offensive line coach at Hofstra in the 1990s, he recalls traveling to Syracuse to pick Addazio's brain about offensive line play. Addazio was an assistant coach on the Orange staff.

"This is exciting for me, an honor to coach against Steve," Flood said during Monday's news conference. "Steve was one of the truly fine offensive line coaches in the country before becoming a head coach."

Flood recalls making the trip to Syracuse due to the reputation of Addazio.

"As you talk to people who coached the offensive line, certainly in the Northeast, Steve was one of the truly fine teachers of offensive line, and everybody envied how hard and how physical his players played," Flood said. "And I think you see that at Temple."

This is Flood's first head coaching job at any level. When Greg Schiano left as head coach at Rutgers to take the same position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Flood was named interim coach Jan. 26, less than a week before the national letter of intent signing day. Flood was then named the coach on Jan. 30 and was officially announced the next day, the day before the Feb. 1 signing date.

A former assistant at Delaware, he has been on the Rutgers staff since 2005 and was the assistant head coach from 2008-11. Flood recalls being so busy with recruiting that he didn't think too much about whether he would get the permanent head coaching job, although he did admit there was a degree of anxiety.

"It was a very anxious time in my life," he said after the news conference. "Opportunities like this don't happen every week, and I grew up about an hour from Rutgers, and this is a dream job of a lifetime for me."

One of the first things he did was turn the team over to the players.

"He told us from day one this is our team, and we had to run it, to govern it and make the load a lot lighter for him and the coaching staff," said Khaseem Greene, a senior linebacker and all-American candidate. "So far, I think we have done a great job doing that."

Flood, 41, came in with an open mind, which impressed the players.

"He hasn't tried to change everything," said Rutgers cornerback Brandon Jones, a graduate of Winslow Township High. "He kept things that worked and changed things that didn't work, and I think it's a great mix, and the players have loved playing for him."

It shows in the record.

To this point, Flood says that nothing has caught him much off guard, including Rutgers' record and No. 15 national ranking. Yet he remains grounded.

"They don't award championship rings for six games," he said. "We have a lot of work to do."


Contact Marc Narducci at mnarducci@phillynews.com or @sjnard on Twitter.

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