Rutgers’ 52-0 loss at the hands of Michigan on Saturday was the final straw for Chris Ash, who amassed a mere eight wins in three-plus seasons.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights have fired head football coach Chris Ash in the midst of his fourth season at the helm. The news was first reported by Keith Sargeant of NJ Advance Media. Sargeant also reported that offensive coordinator John McNulty was likewise let go and tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile will take over as interim head coach.
BREAKING: Chris Ash was fired Sunday as Rutgers head coach in a shakeup that also includes the dismissal of offensive coordinator John McNulty. Nunzio Campanile will take over as interim head coach for the rest of the season. The report: https://t.co/fvF2r1bVBk
— Keith Sargeant (@KSargeantNJ) September 29, 2019
Ash finishes his career in Piscataway with an 8-32 record. That ledger included only three wins in Big Ten play, all of which came in 2017. A 52-0 loss to No. 20 Michigan on Saturday served as his Rutgers coda.
His .250 winning percentage was second-worst amongst Football Bowl Subdivision bosses with at least three years at their current school (Randy Edsall’s .179 at Connecticut is worst).
Rutgers was Ash’s first head coaching experience. He previously served as defensive coordinator at several prominent schools, including Wisconsin, Arkansas, and Ohio State.
A five-year, $11-million contract was inked in December 2015. That deal was extended to 2022 after his sophomore campaign in 2017.
2019 actually opened up with a Rutgers win, as they topped Massachusetts 48-21 in Piscataway on August 30. Three more losses, however, two against ranked conference foes, sealed Ash’s fate. They played Boston College to a respectable 30-16 final, but lost to Michigan and Iowa by a combined 82-0 tally.
The Scarlet Knights football program was subjected to a series of humiliating losses under Ash’s watch. The nadir perhaps came lost season when they followed up a 55-14 loss to Big 12 doormat Kansas with a 42-13 defeat at home to Buffalo of the MAC. They lost 26 of 29 Big Ten games and went winless in 13 matchups via ranked competition.
McNulty was in his second year as Rutgers’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. The Scarlet Knights are currently tied for 123rd in the nation at 303 yards per game.
Campanile will serve as the interim coach for the rest of the season, beginning with Saturday’s visit from Maryland (12:00 p.m. ET, BTN). He previously served as Rutgers’ running backs before transitioning to tight ends. Campanile guided the Bergen Catholic High School Crusaders to the New Jersey state title in 2017. It was Bergen’s first state title in 13 years.