After an interview Thursday morning, running backs Stan Drayton is leaving Ohio State for the Chicago Bears, sources told Eleven Warriors. The Bears confirmed the hiring on social media this evening.
#Bears have hired Stan Drayton as running backs coach; he spent last 4 years at Ohio State, helped Buckeyes win national title in '14.— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 5, 2015
Drayton, a member of the Ohio State coaching staff since 2011, is the second coach to exit the program in the last two months after Tom Herman, formerly its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, did so to take over the Houston Cougars in December.
Drayton was instrumental in ushering in an offensive renaissance in Columbus under head coach Urban Meyer.
While doing so, Drayton helped recruit and mold sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott, who has been projected by Las Vegas sports books as the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy next season. He also helped develop former running back Carlos Hyde, who now plays the San Francisco 49ers, into one of the school's most prolific runners.
Buoyed by a powerful offensive line and talented running backs, the Buckeyes averaged 287 yards rushing over the last two seasons.
At Ohio State, Drayton was paid $295,000 annually, according to his contract. It's unclear how much he will make with the Bears.
Before coaching the Buckeyes, Drayton — a Cleveland native — was Florida’s running backs coach and recruiting coordinator under Meyer in 2010. When Meyer stepped down from the Gators, Drayton traveled north to Columbus where he was Ohio State’s wide receivers coach in 2011. When Meyer was hired by the Buckeyes a year later he retained Drayton as his running backs coach.