Mike Teel will not be heavily involved at his former position, and instead will assist Ben McDaniels in coaching Rutgers wide receivers. Teel joined the Rutgers staff as a graduate assistant this week after graduating in 2009 after a strong playing career.
The decision to place Teel with receivers came primarily because of the envisioned role for offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen.
“When I hired coach [Ralph] Friedgen, one of the things that was important to me and I had this conversation with him right away, was that I wanted him to coach the quarterbacks,” said head coach Kyle Flood. “I knew the success that he had in the past, and it’s such an important position on a football team. From the very beginning, he was the guy that I wanted to coach that position.”
Teel will “add some knowledge to the room” at quarterback, Flood said.
The former two-time team captain and MVP of the 2008 PapaJohns.com Bowl will have a hands-on role with the wide receivers and defer to McDaniels at the position.
With a smaller pool of quarterbacks, Flood chose to double up at wide receiver.
“I’m excited about being in that room,” Teel said. “I’m excited about really learning the intricacies of the wide receiver position. Playing quarterback, obviously you interact with the receivers all the time, so I’ve built relationships with guys that I’ve played with. I’m assuming that it will be similar in how I build relationships with our current players.”
Mutual interest between Teel and Rutgers existed since 2011 when he initially retired from the NFL to become a coach.
Teel spent one year at Kean and another at Wagner before a short stint in the corporate world. Recently returning to Kean as the quarterbacks coach, Teel then made the jump to Rutgers after a meeting with Flood.
“When you bring a former player back they have to be ready for the job,” Flood said. “I’ve had a lot of conversations with Mike over the last two years about coaching football for a living. I really felt that this time, he was ready for the job and he was the right person for the job.”
Teel battled with making a full-time commitment to coaching after he left the Chicago Bears roster. Leaving Wagner to work at UBS in New York, the decision became easier.
“I said I needed to go try something else to see what else was out there,” Teel said. “That kind of led me to Wall Street, and for the year and a half I was working at Wall Street, all I wanted to do was get off of Wall Street. I just didn’t really know what kind of path to take.”
The highs and lows of Teel’s Rutgers career are well-known.
From winning time from Ryan Hart in 2005 to the infamous 2008 homecoming game to a 447-yard day against Louisville on his senior night, Teel has plenty to share with the Rutgers locker room.
“The fact that I was able to be here as a player and be a part of the success that we had here and kind of the resurgence of the program and now that next step, heading into the Big Ten,” Teel said. “It’s a great opportunity for myself and for the team to kind of change what the path of Rutgers football has been, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”