Sources: Rutgers to hire Ciarrocca as new OC

by Ricardo Gutierrez - Rutgers is set to hire Minnesota's Kirk Ciarrocca as the school's next offensive coordinator, sources told ESPN.

Sources: Rutgers to hire Minnesota's Kirk Ciarrocca as OC 8:06 PM ET Pete ThamelESPN To fix Rutgers' sputtering offense, coach Greg Schiano is turning to a familiar face. Rutgers has targeted former Scarlet Knights assistant Kirk Ciarrocca as the school's next offensive coordinator, sources told ESPN on Thursday. The deal with Ciarrocca, who is currently the offensive coordinator at Minnesota, has not been completed and requires board approval, but it's expected to be finalized in the upcoming days. The commitment is expected to be significant, according to sources, as Ciarrocca was slated to average $950,000 over the next three years in Minneapolis after recently signing a new deal there. Ciarrocca has established himself as a top coordinator through his work under P.J. Fleck at both Western Michigan and two separate stints under Fleck at Minnesota. He's served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at both stops. Ciarrocca's reputation is as a sound coach who seeks physical offensive lines, balance and playing mistake-free football. After firing Sean Gleeson in early October, Rutgers is seeking more overall offensive production and development at the quarterback position, which Ciarrocca is expected to coach. Rutgers finished No. 127 in total offense (282 yards per game) and No 124 in scoring (17.4 ppg) last season. Sophomore quarterback Gavin Wimsatt, who left high school early to join the program in 2021, has completed just 45% of his passes and has nine interceptions and five touchdown passes. Ciarrocca had Minnesota ranked No. 16 nationally in rushing offense this season, his first back in Minneapolis after taking the Penn State offensive coordinator job in 2020. He got fired from there and spent a year in an off-field role at West Virginia before reuniting with Fleck at Minnesota for 2022. He'd worked at Rutgers previously under Schiano from 2008 to 2010, the final two seasons as the school's co-offensive coordinator. This marks the third staff defection for Minnesota in recent days, all of whom left for significant raises. Corners coach Paul Haynes left for Wisconsin, and defensive line coach Brick Hailey departed for Purdue. Rutgers opens with home games against Northwestern, Temple and Virginia Tech in 2023.