Buccaneers' Schiano tosses first pitch

Buccaneers' Schiano tosses first pitch

ST. PETERSBURG -- As a first-year head coach, the Buccaneers' Greg Schiano is still familiarizing himself with the community, and he visited the local ballpark on Friday.

Schiano was on hand at Tropicana Field to throw the honorary first pitch for the bout between the Rays and Orioles, though it was way off the mark. A few steps in from the mound, Schiano tossed the pitch well over the head of Rays manager Joe Maddon.

"I should have gotten up on the mound, I guess," Schiano said. "Too much strength, I gotta get out of the weight room... I said, 'Coach, you gotta get out of your crouch.'"

Regardless of the errant pitch, Maddon is glad that the local teams support one another.

"We do, and we feel it coming back from the other teams also, as it should be," Maddon said. "When you get that good vibe going throughout a community in regards to all professional sports, I think everybody has a chance pitch in."

Prior to Friday's visit, Maddon had only spoken to Schiano on the phone, talking about the collegiate rivalry between Maddon's Lafayette College and Schiano's Bucknell University.

Schiano is not a complete stranger to the Sunshine State, having served as the defensive coordinator for the Miami Hurricanes in 1999 and 2000. After that he was the head coach of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights for 11 seasons, amassing a career 68-67 record and 5-1 record in bowl games. There are 17 players in the NFL who played under Schiano at Rutgers.

He was hired in January to be the head coach of Tampa Bay. Last season the Buccaneers went 4-12.