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Washington State DC Alex Grinch joins Ohio State as 10th assistant

(Young Kwak/AP)

Christmas may have been a little over two weeks ago, but it looks as though the Grinch has returned home to Columbus, Ohio. For the past few weeks, rumors swirled that Washington State defensive coordinator Alex Grinch would join the Ohio State Buckeyes staff. Monday afternoon, the school made it official, announcing that Grinch will return to Columbus and join the Buckeyes staff in some capacity.

“I am pleased to announce the addition of Alex Grinch to our coaching staff,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “I am very impressed with his body of work while at Washington State, as many others were, and am happy he chose to come home to Ohio to become a part of our Buckeye coaching staff.”

While his specific role has not yet been announced, FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman reported said last Thursday that he would be the co-defensive coordinator alongside Greg Schiano.

The Grove City, Ohio native returns to Columbus, which is just 20 minutes north of his hometown. One of the most respected young, up-and-coming defensive coordinators in college football, Grinch made the most of his three seasons at Washington State. The 37-year-old turned around the Cougars defense in his short time in Pullman. When he arrived, they were ranked 97th nationally in total defense. This past season, Washington State’s defense was the 16th-best in the country, including seventh in pass efficiency defense, ninth in turnovers forced (28), had 103 tackles for loss (second-highest in program history) and allowed just 11 touchdown passes (fifth-fewest in country). The Cougars also had one of the nation’s best third-down defenses this past season, allowing opponents to convert on 28.5 percent (49-of-172) of their attempts, the fourth-lowest percentage allowed in Division-I.1 Overall, his defense improved for three consecutive years.

Prior to Washington State, the Grinch was a secondary coach at New Hampshire2 (2005-08), Wyoming3 (2009-11), and Missouri4 (2012-14). Add in his two years a defensive graduate assistant at Missouri, and he has 15 years of collegiate coaching under his belt, 13 as a full-time coach. Grinch is a three-time nominee for the Broyles Award, which is given to college football’s top assistant coach.

Before he began his coaching career, Grinch shined at Mount Union, where he had a 54-1 record and won three national championships as a player for the Raiders from 1998-2001. While many Buckeyes may not have known who Grinch was prior to Monday afternoon, the guy is a proven winner and has won at all of his stops along the way.5

Grinch isn’t the only player from his time at Mount Union to join the Division-I coaching ranks. Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell and Toledo head coach Jason Candle were also on the Raiders during Grinch’s time in Alliance.

For those wondering, Grinch will not replace any of the current assistants. His addition comes with the new NCAA rule, one that allows teams to employ 10 full-time assistants instead of the previous nine. The Buckeyes now have five defensive assistant coaches: Schiano, Grinch, Larry Johnson, Bill Davis, and Kerry Coombs. The new rule goes into effect on Tuesday.

  1. His 2017 unit was known as the “Speed D”. []
  2. Cornerbacks coach in 2005-06, Secondary coach and recruiting coordinator in 2007-08. []
  3. Secondary coach and recruiting coordinator. []
  4. Safeties coach. []
  5. 54-1 at Mount Union, 37-14 at New Hampshire, 28-12 at Missouri, and 26-13 at Washington State. []