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Rutgers relies on coaches with ties to LI

Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood congratulates Scott Vallone

Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood congratulates Scott Vallone during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Army in Piscataway, N.J. (Nov. 10, 2012) Credit: AP

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers coach Kyle Flood and assistant Dave Cohen were roommates on the coaching staff at Delaware from 2002-05. They also passed through Hofstra's football program at different times: Flood from 2006-09, Cohen, once the Pride's head coach, from 1997-2001.

"It's been great -- great to be close to home again, great to work with friends you've known a long time," said Cohen, a Huntington native who spent the last two seasons as defensive coordinator at Western Michigan. "It's great to be at a school that puts football in a very high regard."

Cohen was just one of several coaches with Long Island ties whom Flood, a native of Queens and the offensive line coach at C.W. Post (1995-96) and Hofstra, brought on board when Greg Schiano left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and took several assistants with him in January.

Rutgers offensive coordinator Dave Brock was at Hofstra in a number of roles from 1995-2002. Quarterbacks coach Rob Spence was on the Hofstra staff from 1997-99. Offensive line coach Damian Wroblewski was with the Pride from 2004-05. Defensive line coach Jim Panagos is an East Islip native.

"It's a great environment when you respect one another professionally because you've been through some things together, and when you also get along socially," Cohen said. "Kyle has the confidence in all of us to be himself here and trust us to get done what he wants done. That's been a big part of how we've played so far."

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