Jeff Hafley is among the elite assistant coaches in college football.
Hafley was named Monday as one of five finalists for this year's Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant coach. He joins Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Snow, Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, LSU passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Joe Brady and Utah defensive coordinator and safeties coach Morgan Scalley.
As one of Ohio State's co-defensive coordinators along with Greg Mattison, Hafley has helped lead a transformation that brought the Buckeye defense from some of its worst numbers in program history last season to where it is now as one of the most efficient and dominant defenses in the country.
Last season, the Ohio State defense finished 72nd in the country in yards allowed per game (404), 51st in points allowed per game (25.5), and 95th in 20-plus yard plays allowed (67). This season, Ohio State ranks in the top five in all three categories.
Hafley also serves as the Buckeyes' secondary coach, leading a defensive backfield highlighted by Jeff Okudah, Damon Arnette, Shaun Wade and Jordan Fuller that has been one of the best in the country.