Memphis Reportedly Hires Ohio State Secondary Coach Matt Barnes As Defensive Coordinator

By Dan Hope on January 1, 2022 at 10:32 pm
Matt Barnes

Matt Barnes will reportedly still be calling defensive plays next season, but it won’t be at Ohio State.

Barnes, who took over Ohio State’s defensive play calling duties from Kerry Coombs after the first two games of the 2021 season, is heading to Memphis as the Tigers’ new defensive coordinator, according to multiple reports.

Barnes, who had told reporters earlier this week that he hoped to remain at Ohio State, declined to be interviewed when approached by reporters following Ohio State’s Rose Bowl win.

One of Ryan Day’s initial hires when he became Ohio State’s new head coach in 2019, Barnes spent three years with the Buckeyes. He served as the Buckeyes’ special teams coordinator and assistant secondary coach for two seasons before he was promoted to secondary coach after the 2020 season.

Barnes replaces Mike MacIntyre, who was hired as Florida International’s new head coach, as Memphis’ defensive coordinator.

Had Barnes stayed at Ohio State, he would not have been in line to call defensive plays for the Buckeyes in 2022, as those duties will go to new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles.

Barnes becomes the first member of Ohio State’s 2021 coaching staff to leave the staff this offseason. It remains uncertain whether any other coaches will be replaced, but it was known that at least one member of the 2021 coaching staff would have to leave to open up a spot on the staff for Knowles.

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