Ohio State Hires Michigan's Al Washington As Linebackers Coach

By Dan Hope on January 8, 2019 at 1:07 pm
Al Washington

After one season as Michigan's linebackers coach, Al Washington is crossing to the other side of the rivalry.

A Columbus native, Washington is leaving the Wolverines to join Ryan Day's coaching staff as Ohio State's new linebackers coach, the school announced Tuesday afternoon.

“Al Washington is going to be a terrific addition to our coaching staff,” Day said in a statement. “I’ve known him as player and as a coach and I know his family very well. I think his familiarity with this region as a coach and as a recruiter is going to be very impactful, as will his leadership with our linebackers unit.”  

The hire was first reported by Buckeye Grove's Marc Givler and Bucknuts' Dave Biddle.

Washington becomes the second defensive assistant coach to leave Michigan for Ohio State in as many days, joining former Michigan defensive line coach and new Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison in Columbus.

An alumnus of Bishop Watterson High School, Washington grew up in Columbus and has Ohio State ties; his father, Alvin Washington, was a linebacker for Ohio State from 1977-80. 

Washington also has close ties to Day, having worked alongside Day at Boston College in 2013 and 2014, when he was the Eagles' running backs coach and Day was their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

A defensive tackle for Boston College from 2002 to 2005 (Day was also a graduate assistant for the Eagles in 2003 and 2004), Washington began his coaching at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2007. He was a graduate assistant at N.C. State in 2008, then spent two seasons as the defensive line coach at Slippery Rock University and one as the linebackers coach at Elon. 

Washington held three different coaching positions at Boston College, starting as the assistant defensive line coach and assistant special teams coordinator in 2012. He coached running backs at BC from 2013-15 before becoming the Eagles' special teams coordinator and defensive line coach in 2016. Washington then spent one season working for former Ohio State assistant coach Luke Fickell as the defensive line coach at Cincinnati before joining Jim Harbaugh's staff in Ann Arbor.

The 34-year-old Washington is highly regarded for his recruiting ability, playing a key role in Michigan's efforts to sign six players from the state of Ohio to its class of 2019. Additionally, he helped the Wolverines make a strong push to recruit Zach Harrison out of Ohio State's backyard before the five-star defensive end ultimately decided to sign with the Buckeyes during the early signing period.

Now, Washington will bring that prowess to Ohio State, where he'll look to help the Buckeyes secure some of the top talent from both in the state of Ohio and around the country.

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