Rutgers University, in its continuing efforts to move on from the Mike Rice player abuse scandal, hired his replacement. Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Eddie Jordan today agreed to become the next Rutgers head coach. Jordan’s contract is for five years and a little more than $1 million per season, according to the Star Ledger.
Jordan was previously interviewed for the position in 2010 with the job eventually going to Rice. So the last 2 times Rutgers has been looking for a head coach, he wasn’t the school’s first choice.
This time around, Rutgers was targeting Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley, the son of legendary St. Anthony’s coach Bob Hurley. Instead, Hurley signed an extension to stay in Rhode Island.
Jordan played college basketball at Rutgers from 1973-1977 and is among the school’s all-time leaders in assists and steals. He was a key contributor on the most successful Rutgers team in history, the 1976 team that went all the way to the Final Four.
Jordan hasn’t been the most successful of NBA head coaches. His career record is 257-343, not very good. Since 1997, he’s been the head coach of Sacramento, Washington, and Philadelphia. He’s been an assistant in New Jersey, and was with the Nets when they made back to back finals appearances in 2002 and 2003.
Eddie Jordan coaching a college team is a whole new experience for him. He has no experience recruiting players since he’s never been a college coach. Recruiting is obviously a vital aspect of being a successful college coach. He may be able to coach as good a game as anyone can coach, but if he doesn’t have the talent to get it done, it won’t matter. Hopefully for Rutgers, Jordan can start getting big time recruits back to New Jersey, especially now with the team facing powerhouses like Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State among others in the Big 10.