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Rutgers near deal to hire Friedgen

Rutgers is close to hiring former Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen as its offensive coordinator, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because contract details were being worked out.

Friedgen, 66, coached the Terrapins from 2001-10 and went 75-50, including 9-4 in his last season. He was 5-2 in bowl games and won AP national coach of the year honors in 2001. He has been out of coaching the past three seasons.

He would replace Ron Prince, who left Rutgers to take a job as an NFL assistant with the Detroit Lions.

The Scarlet Knights and coach Kyle Flood are coming off a disappointing 6-7 season, during which quarterback Gary Nova and the offense took a big step backward.

Friedgen was a longtime successful offensive coordinator, including a three-year stint in that role with the San Diego Chargers, before Maryland gave him his first head coaching job.

He started with three straight double-digit victory seasons, but never reached 10 wins again. Maryland decided to part ways with him after the 2010 season and he made it clear the decision was not mutual.

Rutgers and Maryland will enter the Big Ten next season and play each other on Nov. 29.

Flood, who is 15-11 in two seasons at Rutgers, still needs to replace fired defensive coordinator Dave Cohen and fill another vacancy on his staff.

Special teams coordinator Joe Rossi was interim defensive coordinator for the Pinstripe Bowl against Notre Dame. Rutgers lost 29-16 to the Fighting Irish.

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