Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer needed to make a splash when he replaced the departed Chris Ash as the team's defensive coordinator and he did just that Friday when the school announced the hiring of Greg Schiano.
Schiano's hiring is pending completion of a background check and approval from the Ohio State University Board of Trustees, according to a university release.
"Greg Schiano is an excellent coach,” Meyer said in a statement. “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, the former head coach of both Rutgers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will "work alongside Luke Fickell coordinating the Ohio State defense," according to a press release sent out by the university. He will also have an associate head coach title and coach Ohio State's safeties.
He fills a hole left by Ash, who Monday was announced as the next head coach at Rutgers.
Schiano last coached in 2013 as the head coach of the Buccaneers, but was fired at the end of the season after a 4-12 finish. He went 11-21 in two seasons in Tampa, but built Rutgers into a respectful Big East program from 2001-11. His best finish in Piscataway, New Jersey, was in 2006, when the Scarlet Knights finished 11-2 after a 37-10 victory against Kansas State in the Texas Bowl.
Meyer and Schiano have known each other for years, beginning when the former was the wide receivers coach at Notre Dame and the latter coached defensive backs with the Chicago Bears. After Meyer resigned as the coach at the University of Florida amid health issues following the 2010 season, he showed up as Schiano's keynote speaker for his New Jersey football camp.
Schiano has also been seen around the program during spring and fall camps in Columbus the last few seasons, and his recruiting connections with the east coast were a big sell for Meyer moving forward. He is also apparently on campus for the weekend as the Buckeyes prepare for their Jan. 1 matchup with Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.