As news of Rutger’s firing Chris Ash surfaced on Sunday, a second report alleges that the school has a clear frontrunner in mind.

Sources told FootballScoop in recent days that Greg Schiano left his post with the New England Patriots in order to make himself available to return to Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights’ head coach. Sources said Rutgers made it clear to Schiano at the time he will be the choice to replace Ash once the position became available.

Schiano told Bill Belichick of his intention to return to Piscataway, and that Belichick immediately recognized a late season departure would be incompatible with the Patriots’ schedule. The two came to a mutual understanding that the right thing to do for both sides was for Schiano to resign at that time.

Ash was fired on Sunday, a day after a 52-0 loss to Michigan. The Scarlet Knights were 8-32 under Ash and 3-26 in Big Ten play.

A New Jersey native and a former Rutgers graduate assistant, Schiano was the school’s head coach from 2001-11, a run that was the best stretch in the school’s modern history. Schiano went 68-67 in his 12 seasons, and from 2005-11 the club was 56-33 with six bowl appearances, five of them wins. The 2006 season stands as the best in school history, an 11-2 mark with a win over No. 3 Louisville, a week spent inside the AP Top 10, and a school-record No. 12 finish in the AP poll.

Schiano left Rutgers in 2011 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job, then after two years out of football, he was an assistant at Ohio State, including being the defensive coordinator. Two years ago, Schiano had an agreement to be the coach at Tennessee, but fan criticism of his time at Penn State during the Jerry Sandusky scandal derailed his hiring.