Andrew Janocko accepts position with Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
Thursday, March 01, 2012
By Rich Murawski Assistant Sports Editor
When former Rutgers head football coach Greg Schiano bolted to the NFL to become the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in late January, it left the program and all those involved in a state of uncertainty.
One of those people in the organization that wasn't sure what Schiano's departure meant for him was Clearfield alum Andrew Janocko, who was just half a year into his job as a graduate offensive assistant for the Scarlet Knights.
"We were all really happy for Coach Schiano," Janocko said. "Only 32 people in the world have the job title that he has.
"But there was also a lot of uncertainty at Rutgers. I believed in my A.D. Tim Pernetti when he promised everyone that he would find the right person for the head coaching job."
Pernetti hired from within, promoting assistant head coach Kyle Flood to the position.
And Flood in turn offered to retain Janocko as offensive assistant.
"I have a great relationship with Coach Flood," Janocko said. "He offered me the same job I had under Coach Schiano."
So Janocko's mind was quickly eased as the uncertainly turned to preparing for spring ball and the upcoming 2012 season at Rutgers.
That is, until his world was turned upside down just three days ago.
A phone call from Schiano and a couple hours of talking with his closest family and friends and Janocko had a new employer - the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Schiano contacted Janocko on Monday and offered him the position of Offensive Quality Control Coach with the Buccaneers.
"It was a surprise," Janocko said. "I had talked to Coach Schiano a couple times. I reached out to him to ask his advice on a few opportunities I had.
"I mentioned to him that I would look great in Tampa colors, and he told me if a position opened, he would bring me down."
It didn't take long for Janocko to mull over Schiano's offer and decide it was in his best interest to accept the job.
"It's always hard to leave someplace," he said. "Rutgers will always hold a place in my heart.
"I talked to several people, my mom and dad, former coaches at Pitt ... it was a couple hours and I said, ‘I have to take this. I don't want to look back and have a regret.' It's the opportunity of a lifetime. I had to take it."
Janocko will have many of the same responsibilities as quality control coach as he did at Rutgers. He'll just be under a much finer microscope.
"I'll break down film and work with the wide receivers and quarterbacks," Janocko said. "I'm basically an assistant to the offensive coordinator. It's a lot of the same carryover, just not as much hands-on coaching. And it's definitely magnified being in the NFL."
So at just 23 years old, Janocko has already lettered three times for a Division I football team, coached at a Division I college and now begins a journey in the NFL.
"All the opportunities I've had are truly blessings," Janocko said. "That's a testament to my family, and all the great coaches and great people I've been around.
"I have tried to emulate people like my dad, Frank Cignetti, Dave Wannestedt, Henry Hynoski ... I've been blessed with opportunities and success.
Janocko left for Tampa Bay today, making the 17-hour drive where he'll have nothing to do but excitedly think about his new opportunity.
"There are a couple Rutgers and Pitt guys down there, familiar faces. So that excites me," he said. "But seeing the game played at the highest level really excites me.
"I love football. It's the greatest game in the world. And I get to see it being played to perfection ... the way it's supposed to be played."