During a conference call on Monday, Rutgers head football coach publicly acknowledged for the first time that his mother passed away while he was coaching the Scarlet Knights in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Rutgers suffered a heart-breaking, 13-10, defeat to the hands of Virginia Tech in overtime in that affair.
"I don't make any excuses for that," he said. "I think there are a lot of players, or a lot of people in our program, who have things going on in their personal lives and certainly my mother is a very important person in my life and somebody that really is a big reason why I am the person I am today.
"For me to use that in any way as an excuse -- certainly when people you love are in pain it's on your mind, but I also know the one thing that would have hurt my mother more than anything would be to know that she was keeping me from doing my job."
His mother, Louise Flood, passed away following a lengthy battle with cancer during the afternoon of Dec. 28.
Her son, Kyle, led the Scarlet Knights to a 9-4 record in his first season as skipper after previously serving as an assistant under Greg Schiano during 2006-11.