Off the Clock: Leadership with Rutgers Football Coach Greg Schiano

Chris Carlin “Voice of Rutgers Football” interviews Coach Schiano in WebEx virtual event about leadership during challenging times.

Rutgers Business School launched its “Off the Clock” speaker series with a special virtual event necessitated by the COVID-19 social distancing requirement.  Three-hundred-fifty-three participants logged in to attend an insightful interview by Chris Carlin, the “Voice of Rutgers Football” with Rutgers Football Coach Greg Schiano.

In the course of his remarks, Coach Schiano explained how the Rutgers Business School brand: “Resilient, Resourceful, Responsible and Reinvent yourself for the digital era,” aligns with his coaching philosophy summed up as: F.A.M.I.L.Y., Trust, Chop.  Both Dean Lei’s and Coach Schiano’s leadership philosophies share similarities in ethical behavior, tenacity to keep working at a problem while keeping one’s values, as well as supporting team goals rather than personal gains.

Chris Carlin began the interview by asking: “What is leadership?”

“It’s everything,” said Schiano.  “It’s like herding cats without it.”

“Will you explain your leadership philosophy of family, trust, chop for our listeners?” asked Carlin.

F.A.M.I.L.Y: Forget About Me, I Love You.  It is a sacrificial, unselfish mindset,” said Schiano. 

Trust: 100% honesty, do what you are supposed to do when you are supposed to do it.

Chop: This stands for chopping down a tree.  It requires intense focus, physical and mental toughness, and perseverance.”

“Leadership begins with a clear vision but it does not end there.  Leaders must equip and inspire the people carrying out that vision, and then provide feedback and accountability.”

Carlin asked, “How do you inspire your people during these unprecedentedly difficult times?”

“I connect with my coaches, staff, and players through the solid relationships I’ve built with them,” said Schiano.  “And these are extremely difficult times.”

“We did not get one practice with the players before the university shut down and we all exercised social distancing because of the COVID-19 outbreak.  Then there was the murder of George Floyd and the protests in response to police brutality,” Schiano said.

“The social distancing made speaking with my team more difficult, but we have terrific technology, as we are using today, that allows us to talk face to face even while we could not be together.  I must say here that I am extremely proud of our team.  The team participated in a peaceful protest march wearing shirts that we had made especially.  They had #CHOP4CHANGE on the front, and #BELIEVE and Eric LeGrand’s retired number 52 on the back.”  We released a video: ‘#Chop4Change’ in which the players call for unity to break the cycle of racism."

The video, shot in black-and-white and posted to the program’s Twitter account, features both black and white players and Schiano expressing their thoughts and feelings.  James Kratch | NJ Advance Media for

Football and business school education may not immediately appear comparable; however, Dean Lei and Coach Schiano explained that high-quality leadership is essential to any organization.


-Sean Ireland

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