When Urban Meyer loses a member of his staff, apparently the rest of the college football world should be very worried. After former co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash left to take on the Rutgers head coaching job, Meyer has apparently gone out and hired a home run hitter to replace him: former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano.
The news was first reported by ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter.
Former Bucs HC Greg Schiano expected to accept Assoc HC/DC at Ohio State, per source; will replace former OSU DC Chris Ash, new Rutgers HC.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 11, 2015
Schefter’s news was further verified by Ohio State site Eleven Warriors, along with other reporters.
The Schiano hire, which we can also confirm, makes a lot of sense. Meyer is great friends w/ Greg, a great D coach. https://t.co/3RGeD7siIC
— Eleven Warriors (@11W) December 11, 2015
Just five days ago, it certainly appeared that Schiano would be the odd man out in the game of musical coaching chairs around college football. No head coaching position was going to come his way after the Scarlet Knights didn’t dip back in the Schiano pool and went ahead with someone new.
Instead, Meyer remembered the defensive mind that Schiano brought to the table and decided to give his team a huge boost after Ash’s departure.
Schiano isn’t a stranger to being a defensive coordinator, having held that position during the end of the glory years of Miami (FL) football from 1999-2000. After that season, he was plucked up by Rutgers and immediately set to the job of making the Scarlet Knights a physical and powerful defensive football team first.
As head coach, Schiano finished with a record of 68-67 in his 11-year stint at Rutgers. While that number may not be impressive to some, considering Rutgers’ putrid history on the gridiron, Schiano was a rock star for that school. In his final four years as head coach, the Scarlet Knights defense gave up an average of 20.4 points and 330.1 yards per game. Schiano’s defenses twice led the Big East in total defense and once in scoring defense during those final four years.
Ohio State once again finds itself striking it rich on the coaching front after previously plucking Ash from long-time mentor Bret Bielema a year after that staff moved from Wisconsin to Arkansas.
Schiano sets himself up nicely to also further his career and get back to the head coaching game in short order, should he be successful with the Buckeyes.