NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- Rutgers University named Penn State assistant Dick Anderson as its new head football coach Tuesday, ending a seven-week search.
Anderson, an assistant for the Nittany Lions for the past 11 years and offensive coordinator since 1981, said he was 'extremely excited' about the position.
'Having lived and played high school football in New Jersey, I obviously have a lot of pride in my home state and hope to carry that on to Rutgers,' he said. 'I would hope to be able to bring the Rutgers football team to a point where it is nationally recognized.'
Athletic Director Fred Gruninger called Anderson a 'proven leader' and an 'outstanding collegiate coach.'
Anderson, 42, will face an uphill battle, having lost much of the recruiting season. His predecessor, Frank Burns, was fired Nov. 20, the day after the Scarlet Knights' season finale.
On Monday, Anderson met in Trenton with Gov. Thomas Kean, who is expected to announce Thursday that the state plans to raise $3 million in public funds to upgrade the school's much-maligned football program.
The $3 million in state funds is expected to be used to help Rutgers upgrade its athletic facilities and football program.
Ironically, Anderson comes from Penn State, a school which has made an annual habit of raiding New Jersey for its top high school prospects - one of many complaints Rutgers followers have had about the university's football program.
Many New Jersey high school football players have left the state to play at other schools because of a lack of major college facilities at the state university.
The most recent example was Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier of Camden, who elected to play for Nebraska.
Rutgers opens its season Sept. 8 against Penn State.
Anderson, a native of Queens, N.Y., attended East Rutherford High School. He graduated from Penn State in 1963 and received a master's degree in health and physical education from Penn State in 1965.
He played for Penn State from 1960 and 1963 and helped develop several All-America players while an assistant to Joe Paterno.