The Tennessee Titans made their hire of Kerry Coombs official on Wednesday, when the team announced that the former Ohio State assistant coach will join its staff as secondary coach.
Coombs, who was promoted to assistant defensive coordinator in 2017, leaves Ohio State after six seasons as the Buckeyes' cornerbacks coach. A member of Urban Meyer's coaching staff since his first season at Ohio State, Coombs was also the Buckeyes' special teams coordinator for the last five seasons.
“I want to wish Kerry Coombs and his wife, Holly, the very best as Kerry pursues another opportunity in the National Football League and they begin a new chapter," Meyer said in a statement Monday. "Kerry is a great coach and a great friend, and I thank him for the contributions he has made to this program in his six years with us.”
While Coombs has never previously coached in the NFL, he previously worked alongside new Titans head coach Mike Vrabel when Vrabel was Ohio State's defensive line coach in 2012 and 2013.
Coombs told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Monday that he "never dreamed about" coaching in the NFL, but decided to take the opportunity to work with Vrabel and to pursue the sport's highest goal.
“Winning a Super Bowl," Coombs told the Enquirer's Jim Owczarski. "That's it. That's why I came. I won a state championship, I won a national championship and to win a Super Bowl, that's going to be something very few guys have done. That's why I'm coming. That's why I took the job. It's the highest level of football in this profession and I want to be part of a staff that wins a Super Bowl and I'm excited about that opportunity."
Wednesday's announcement by the Titans means the Buckeyes are officially back in the market for a new assistant coach. The Buckeyes could potentially fill at least some of Coombs' responsibilities with coaches who are already on the staff – newly hired defensive assistant coach Alex Grinch, whose role has yet to be defined, was the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Washington State – but nonetheless, the Buckeyes have an opening for a coach to come in and fill one role or another.
Ohio State will have plenty of options available for filling the new vacancy on coaching staff, but one thing is for sure: Coombs' energy, ability to develop cornerbacks into NFL first-round draft picks and work on the recruiting trail will be missed.