Greg Schiano has snagged a New Jersey guy from a conference rival to be Rutgers’ new defensive coordinator.
Minnesota co-defensive coordinator Joe Harasymiak, a 35-year-old Waldwick native, will replace Robb Smith, a person with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance Media. Harasymiak was on staff with the Golden Gophers for the last three seasons; prior to that he was the head coach at Maine, where he led the Black Bears to an appearance in the FCS playoff semifinals in 2018.
Harasymiak has coached linebackers and defensive backs in his career and has defensive play calling experience. He will likely call defensive plays for Rutgers. Harasymiak has no obvious ties to Schiano beyond their shared connection with Golden Gophers coach P.J. Fleck, who was an assistant for Schiano and Rutgers and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Harasymiak played at Springfield College and coached at Springfield and Maine Maritime before landing at Maine, where he was an assistant for five years (two as defensive coordinator) before being promoted to head coach for three seasons.
Harasymiak made $410,000 last season at Minnesota. Smith, who coincidentally was also a Minnesota defensive coordinator under Fleck, made $700,000 last season. So Harasymiak will likely receive a significant raise to come to Rutgers. Smith is now the defensive coordinator at Duke.
Rutgers has one known opening left on its coaching staff after special teams coordinator Adam Scheier left for Temple. The Scarlet Knights are scheduled to play at Minnesota next season.
Story by James Kratch, nj.com