COLUMBUS — Perhaps the worst-kept secret in Ohio State football became reality on Monday when Kerry Coombs returned to the Buckeyes’ coaching staff.
Coombs was named co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach on Monday by Ohio State coach Ryan Day less than 24 hours after Coombs’ former team, the Tennessee Titans, were eliminated from the NFL Playoffs.
Coombs, who coached at Ohio State from 2012-2017, was rumored to be OSU’s top choice to replace Jeff Hafley ever since Hafley was hired as Boston College’s head coach in December. But nothing could be official until the Titans, coached by former Ohio State player Mike Vrabel, were out of the NFL playoffs.
“Kerry Coombs is the coach I was really hoping we could hire and bring back to Ohio State,” Day said in a statement from Ohio State. “He is an excellent coach and he has had two outstanding seasons in the NFL on Mike Vrabel’s staff with the Tennessee Titans. I spent a season on staff (at Ohio State) with Kerry and I really like his coaching and knowledge of the game. But I also like that he knows Ohio State and he knows how to recruit to Ohio State.
“He has recruited some of the players currently on the team and he coached a handful of Buckeyes defensive backs who went on to become first-round NFL draft picks.”
First-round picks Bradley Roby, Eli Apple, Marshon Lattimore, Gareon Conley and Denzel Ward all were coached by Coombs.
Greg Mattison will continue as co-defensive coordinator, the same position he had last season when he shared it with Hafley.