Rutgers coaching search: Eddie Jordan reportedly agrees to take over alma mater

Stephen Dunn

Rutgers has hired a former star player to lead its basketball program.

Eddie Jordan has agreed to become the new head basketball coach at Rutgers, according to multiple reports. The contract is expected to be for five years and pay $1.3 million annually. Jordan takes over for Mike Rice, who was fired after a tape of him verbally and physically abusing players was leaked to the public.

Jordan played at Rutgers from 1973 to 1977, where he set multiple school records. He then moved on to the NBA for an eight-year career that included stints with the Cavaliers, Nets, Blazers and Lakers.

This isn't Jordan's first experience on Rutgers' coaching staff. He worked as an assistant with the school multiple times after his retirement as a player before moving on to coach in the NBA. His first head coaching job was with the Sacramento Kings in 1997, but that was short-lived as he was fired in 1998. Jordan got a second chance with the Wizards from 2004 to 2008 and another with the Sixers in 2009 and 2010.

Dave White of On the Banks believes Jordan's biggest challenge initially won't be bringing in new talent, but making sure the current team is left somewhat intact:

But Jordan has to get moving right away. Following on the heels of Mike Poole's transfer request, Eli Carter asked for his transfer release as well. Jordan is going to have to sell himself to the team before he can even think about recruits. Will Poole, Carter, Jerome Seagears, Vince Garrett, and Malick Kone all transferring, Rutgers would be left with 5 scholarship players.

With so few players on the roster, the task will be difficult for Jordan at Rutgers. However, White points out that he is likely to keep some of the former staff around. That could help with current players as well as potential recruits.

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