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Ohio State hires Greg Schiano as defensive coordinator, associate head coach

Cliff McBride / The Tampa Tribune

When Chris Ash left Ohio State and his role as co-defensive coordinator to be the Rutgers head coach, Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer knew he needed to fill the vacancy with a well known, respected, and very good coach, and it seems as though he has done just that. Ohio State has hired former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano as his new co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach, the school announced Friday.

“Greg Schiano is an excellent coach,” Meyer said of the new hiring. “He is someone I have known for quite some time now and someone who is going to align with our staff extremely well. I think he will be outstanding as a coach and mentor in our program and I am pleased to have him on our staff.”

Schiano, who is a friend of Meyer, last coached in 2013 as the head coach of the Buccaneers. After leading his team to a dismal 4-12 record in his second season in Tampa Bay, he was fired (was 11-21 overall with the Buccaneers).

Before taking his first and only NFL job, 49-year old spent 11 seasons in Piscataway, New Jersey, as the head coach of Rutgers (was 68-67 overall). He led the Scarlet Knights to their best seasons in program history, including leading the Scarlet Knights to a 11-2 record in 2006, the year that which he was named the Eddie Robinson, Walter Camp, and Big East Coach of the Year. In 2011, Rutgers earned their first Top 25 ranking (ranked as high as No. 6). In 2006, the Scarlet Knights had the 8th ranked scoring defense; he also had the 12th ranked scoring defense in his final year at Rutgers in 2011.

Besides being the head of Rutgers for 10 years, the former Bucknell linebacker has seen his fair share of football on the east coast. Schiano started as a graduate assistant at Rutgers in 1989, before coaching the defensive backs at Penn State (1991-95) and the Chicago Bears (1996-98), he then was the defensive coordinator at Miami (Florida) (1999-2000) before accepting the head coaching job back at Rutgers.

With his experience working with defensive backs, he will fit perfectly in Ash’s role, which was mainly to work with the Buckeyes defensive backfield, while co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell is mainly in charge of the front-seven.

Due to the fact that Schiano has plenty of coaching experience both at Rutgers and in Tampa Bay, he also brings yet another tremendous recruiting chip to the Buckeyes coaching staff, one that will help with both the east coast recruits and down south. So yes, Meyer somehow added another coach that will help him recruit the top talent across the country, as if he didn’t already do so.

While Schiano has been seen around Columbus during fall and spring camps, it looks as though the coach has finally landed a job with the scarlet and gray. According to the school, his hiring is pending the approval from the Board of Trustees and the completion of his background check.