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Report: Rutgers hiring one of the top FCS defensive coordinators to coach linebackers

After leading top-10 units at James Madison, Corey Hetherman will now coach linebackers at Rutgers.

James Madison defensive coordinator Corey Hetherman will be Rutgers' new linebackers coach, ESPN reported Thursday.

Hetherman ran JMU's defense for the past three seasons, and it was one of the top units in the Football Championship Subdivision in each of those years.

This past year, the Dukes ranked seventh in scoring defense (15.4 points per game), 10th in pass efficiency defense (111.66) and eighth in rushing defense (89 yards per game). James Madison also led FCS in takeaways, claiming 18 interceptions and 13 fumbles en route to a 12-2 season.

James Madison was also a top-10 unit in 2020 and '19. The Dukes never allowed more than 16.5 points per game in Hetherman's three seasons, and James Madison reached at least the FCS semifinals in all three campaigns.

Defensive end Ron'Dell Carter was the top FCS defender in 2019, earning multiple national defensive player of the year awards and becoming a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, the FCS equivalent to the Heisman. 

Prior to JMU, Hetherman coordinated defenses for Maine and Pace (D-II - NY). 

Rutgers represents Hetherman's first foray into FBS, though he was due for a promotion simply by staying put. James Madison announced Wednesday it will compete in the Sun Belt in 2022, a year earlier than previously announced, but Hetherman instead becomes a linebackers coach at the Big Ten level.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.