It Looks Like Chris Ash Will Assume Responsibility for Safeties and Cornerbacks at Ohio State

By Jason Priestas on January 16, 2014 at 11:25a
Chris Ash's Twitter bio

UPDATE 12:05 p.m.: Ash changed his bio to read: "Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach for the Ohio State Univeristy."

Ohio State still hasn't announced the hiring of former Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash yet, but if his Twitter bio is any clue, Ash could assume the responsibilities for safeties and cornerbacks in Columbus.

Ash recently updated his Twitter bio to read: "Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach for The Ohio State University."

Does this mean current cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs, who also serves as the team's special teams coordinator, will focus solely on special teams now? Why isn't there a "co-" in front of the defensive coordinator part?

We're trying not to read into this too much, but inquiring minds want to know.


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osubuck57's picture

Glad he'll be taking over the secondary, as a whole. Coombs with all his energy and venom will be great handling special teams.


cinserious's picture

Don't forget Coombs is an excellent recruiter too. I like Coombs on this staff, just not as a db coach.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

countrybuckeye's picture

"...with all his energy and venom..."
That was AWESOME

"Momma told me there would be days like this."

Tim's picture


BuckeyeRick's picture

Fickell said: "Did we win?"

ArizonaBuckeye's picture

"It is what it is" would be my guess. That was his explanation after the MSU loss.

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you." -Woody Hayes-

droessl's picture

Still an Arkansas background. WORST. SPY. EVER. 

FitzBuck's picture

My mind is blown.  Thank you twitter

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

sbentz4's picture

Why isn't there a "co-" in front of the defensive coordinator part?

Does this mean the end of the Fire Fickell Threads?

PittBuckeye's picture

You must not let yourself believe that's possible. It will only lead to disappointment.

Hovenaut's picture

Works for me.
Coombs can still plant those flags...and holler at kickers over water.

ChazBuckeye's picture

I'd say they're finalizing money and explaining to the other coaches what's going on. It will be public later today or tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised if there is no Co-coordinating anymore behind the scenes. However publicly they'll keep Fick under the same title with less responsibility. Just my opinion but I have a feeling Urban's done watching the defense struggle.

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

aphill89's picture

hey, if coombs can handle making our special teams great and tearing up the recruiting trail, it will probably turn out to be a great move

"The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win." - Wayne Woodrow Hayes 

niblick's picture

if we have another year of Co-DC's my head may just explode.

ScoobyKnows's picture

Fire in the hole!!!!!

Doc's picture

I'm fine with Coombs coaching the Special Teams.  He has the fire and intensity needed for that group, and he recruits like a madman.  Hopefully the entire secondary gets better being under one umbrella.

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hhilanders's picture

I heard Herm Edwards talk about head coaches and putting together a coaching staff. He said that you put together your staff and think its a perfect fit but after about 2 years you realize not everyone has the same philosophy or works well together. I think that is where we are today. We are gong through a little tweaking to find the right mix. I am sure that Withers was told to find a head coaching job and Fickell is going to be relegated to another roll. So, new philosophies will be coming and a new direction. Urban Meyer realizes that while there were a lot of new players on defense last year, they made no progress in defense and continuing with the same approach was not going to work. He has expertly maneuvered this situation and hopefully future success.  

Youngbuck85's picture

Considering DB can mean either position, and that corner and safety are completely different in terms of technique, I doubt he has control over both positions. That being said, If Coombs stays working with the corners he better do a much better job this year. 

bassplayer7770's picture

That is interesting.  I recall, when watching the video of Ash explaining Cover 2, he had separate rules for CBs and Safeties (not to mention LBs), so it makes sense that he could potentially handle all DBs.  Regardless, I'll wait to see the official press release before I get too excited.

Borrowed Time's picture

I wonder if it will be the defense or offense that carries this team next year.
Pass defense was awful, but Tyvis Powell, Doran Grant and Vonn Bell getting one year older should only help. D-line will be even more of a force as no one there graduated or left. Curtis Grant and Josh Perry leave something to be desired, but the future is bright with Mike Mitchell, Trey Johnson, Raekwon, Dante, etc. 
Offense replaces 4 starters on O-line (3 effectively with Elfein playing well). Brax back, RB position should be fine (EZ or Rod Smith). Wide receivers leave something to be desired.... I wouldn't mind seeing Corey Smith and Mike Thomas get more playing time.
My gut is the offense gets worse, defense gets better, with the offense still having to carry the load with more of a balanced attack with Braxton not wanting to run as much, and Corey Smith getting more playing time. Defense has too big of a weakness at linebacker with the inability to cover TE's and slot receivers in their space/zone to mask effectively.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

My guts is that both the offense and the defense will show flashes early in the season, but be inconsistent, while the special teams are phenomenal; by the end of the year, all three phases will be really good, but it might not be enough to get into a four team playoff. They could end up being one of those teams that "nobody wants to play right now" but is on the outside looking in.

d5k's picture

Probably fair, but fortunately our schedule is not really front-loaded.  Losing to Va Tech at home would be a pretty big upset even if we are a little worse on both sides of the ball.  First big game in conference is the 3rd game against PSU.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

D5K: that's a good point. The Buckeyes could scuffle a bit early in the year and still win those games. Hopefully, the schedule sets up perfectly, so that they're starting to fire on all cylinders when they travel to East Lansing. 

achillesx's picture

He must have updated it. It now says "Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach for The Ohio State University". 

LouGroza's picture

That was a quick change. OSU admins on top of things.

thunderhawks51's picture

If he is indeed taking over fully as defensive coordinator with Fickell being relegated to just LB's coach, I will be interested to see the results of the incumbent coaching staff. That's going to be a big cultural shift. Specifically, Fickell will have to take a heavy portion of humble pie. I hope everyone will be good soldiers in the Urban Seven Nation Army and fall in line. 

Aesculus.'s picture

Funny how he forgot the co-coordinator at first!!'s just a formality!!

hetuck's picture

I'm all for giving Coombs total special teams control. I think the responsibility was split last season. Meyer gave Warriner credit for the Buffalo extra points, IIRC. Coombs did have kick offs and their approach was unique with great results. Apply that creativity to all special teams.

Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

Vince Lombardi

fanfarris's picture

Last spring game at cinncinatus,all were worried about the O Line.Especially after the D had 12 or more sacks.We were raving about the defense.Move forward 4 games into the season and the O Line is our strength and the Defense is our weakness.Thats what Warriner has done with an average players ,talent wise.I believe non of our O Line was a 5 star player out of high school.So i am not worried about the O line.I am still hoping that the defense ,coaches and scheme improve.


osu07asu10's picture

We know he was brought in to help a struggling defense. He probably is going to be THE guy in the secondary and I would assume Coombs will continue to assist in that department while spearheading special teams.

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The 0 is silent.

Notthatguy's picture

Just as long as he can get these hookheads of ours to turn their damn heads around, that'll be a good start...

I would've sent a check but I already sealed up the envelope...

PittBuckeye's picture

Is this hire not official because they're waiting for the 20th? Or is there some other reason I'm missing? Seems stupid at this point if that's why, everyone knows he's our guy.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

I'm not saying it's necessarily the case here, but attorneys make us do all sorts of seemingly stupid, pointless, artificial things to cover our rear ends, legally speaking. 

TMac's picture

Just complying with the rule/law so as to avoid any issues later. With the Monday holiday Iam sure it will be official Tuesday.

ONE Not Done!

Run_Fido_Run's picture

This could be a case where Ash mistakenly put up his effective titles, instead of the official ones. Maybe Urbz will have to call him and say, "yeah, you'll be running the defense, but  . . ."

d5k's picture

Titles schmitles, am I right?

BuckToAsT's picture

Jim Heacock was Defensive Coordinator from 2005-12 without a "co" in front, while Luke Fickell was "Co-Defensive Coordinator" from 2005-10.
I think Ash is the "new" Heacock, meaning he will call the shots while Luke still gets to be called a "co-DC."

TMac's picture

Luke Fickell has been Defensive Coordinator (Not Co-) and so far that is unchanged. Urban only knows how it all shakes out. 

ONE Not Done!

BuckToAsT's picture

You're right.  Fick lost the "co" title in 2012 under Urban and simply became DC.  My guess is he'll go back to "co," unless UFM makes them both DCs (which is unlikely).  This is assuming Ash's tweet is right in that he'll be DC.

BuckToAsT's picture

Interesting.  It seems as if Fickell will now be calling the shots.  Can't wait until UFM clears this up.

tennbuckeye19's picture

I wouldn't get too caught up with titles. They mean much less than what a guy's actual description and function is for the team. But you're right, I imagine when Ash is introduced we'll hear more about what his function will be on the staff. 

BuckToAsT's picture

Good point.  I think it's interesting that Ash announced himself as the DC initially.  I'm thinking that means there has been an internal agreement as to actual roles.
It's not that I'm caught up in titles--I'm just trying to enjoy ANY OSU football-related news.  I really hate the off season . . . .

buckskin's picture

Hopefully Ash is coaching both, Coombs couldn't get our corners to even tackle correctly, among other things.  I love the fire in Coombs and his passion for all things OSU, but fire and passion do not necessarily make one a good teacher of the game.

Statutoryglory's picture

All I want to see is CBs turn and look for the ball especially in the end zone.

ibuck's picture

So would you trade the trash-talking for that, better angles, and solid tackling?

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

2002osubuck's picture

The main thing I care about is who's gonna be calling the plays on D? This makes me think Ash will be calling the plays since he put DC at first. That's how it was with Heacock but Meyer probably wants to keep the co-DC titles so Fickell can get a HC job after this season.