fb-pixel Skip to main content

Greg Schiano won’t be the Patriots’ defensive coordinator, after all

Greg Schiano (left) and Bill Belichick exchanged pleasantries after a 2013 preseason game.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff/File

In a stunning reversal, Greg Schiano decided Thursday to resign as the Patriots defensive coordinator just one month after taking the post.

Schiano, who left his position at Ohio State after the season, cited his faith and his family as reasons for his decision in a statement released through the Patriots.

“I have informed Mr. [Robert] Kraft and Coach [Bill] Belichick that I am stepping down from my position at the Patriots,’’ Schiano said. “This is not the result of any one event, but rather a realization that I need to spend more time on my faith and family.

“I don’t want to look back years from now and wish I had done things differently. Therefore, I am taking time away from the game to recalibrate my priorities.’’


Belichick, who has a close relationship with Schiano, said he supports his fellow coach.

“I respect Coach Schiano greatly and appreciate his contributions to our staff and team,’’ Belichick said in a statement. “He is a friend who we support completely.’’

Belichick had confirmed Schiano’s hiring during a taped appearance on Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski’s satellite radio show.

“We’ve added Coach Schiano to our defensive staff and he’s a very experienced and outstanding fundamentals coach,” Belichick said on the show. “Good teacher and has a lot of experience in both the college and pro game. He’s coached a lot of our players, we’ve had quite a few guys from Rutgers. I think he’ll be a great addition.”

Belichick and Schiano were seen scouting players during the NFL Combine just a few weeks ago in Indianapolis.

Schiano is best known for building Rutgers into a consistent contender during his 11-year run there; he won at least eight games in five of his final six seasons in New Jersey.

He left to take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coaching job in 2012 but was fired after going 11-21 in two seasons.


At Rutgers, Schiano coached current Patriots Jason and Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon. He also coached Patriots safeties coach Steve Belichick at the school.

Schiano spent the last three seasons as an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer at Ohio State.

Schiano was expected to take over the duties formally held by de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores, who left to take the head coaching job with the Miami Dolphins.

It’s uncertain what happens to longtime Schiano assistant Bob Fraser, whom the Herald reported recently took a job with the Patriots. He was an assistant coach and linebackers coach under Schiano at both Rutgers and with the Buccaneers.

Schiano’s departure is the latest hit for the New England defense, which lost Flores and cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer to the Dolphins and defensive line coach Brendan Daly to the Chiefs.

Additionally, wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea and assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski followed Flores to South Florida.

Steve Belichick is the only returning coach on the defensive side of the ball for the reigning Super Bowl champions. Bret Bielema, who served as a consultant to Bill Belichick last season and has a defensive background, also is still on staff.

Former standout linebacker Jerod Mayo announced on Instagram Wednesday that he has accepted a position on the defense, presumably as linebackers coach.

Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.