Ohio State Linebackers Coach Al Washington Will Not Return in 2022

By Kevin Harrish on January 13, 2022 at 1:40 pm
Al Washington

Al Washington's time in Columbus is over.

After three seasons coaching the Ohio State linebackers, Washington will not return to the Buckeyes in 2022, Ohio State confirmed Friday.

Washington shared a message on Twitter on Saturday night that confirmed his departure, saying he is “thankful for all the young men I have been fortunate to be around and work with these past three years.”

New defensive coordinator Jim Knowles is expected to take over coaching Ohio State's linebackers. The Buckeyes have also Cincinnati cornerbacks coach Perry Eliano and Jacksonville Jaguars cornerbacks coach Tim Walton as secondary coaches, and that trio will collectively replace Washington, Kerry Coombs and Matt Barnes, who are all no longer with the Buckeyes.

Ohio State hired Washington in January 2019 to replace former linebackers coach Billy Davis once Ryan Day took over as the team's head coach. During his time in Columbus, he helped coach three linebackers that were selected in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft: Malik Harrison, Pete Werner and Baron Browning.

Washington also made a splash on the recruiting trail for Ohio State, helping sign several top-100 prospects including five-stars C.J. Hicks and Sonny Styles as well as four-star linebackers Gabe Powers, Cody Simon and Reid Carrico. He also had a hand in recruiting five-star defensive end Jack Sawyer, five-star running back TreVeyon Henderson and four-star cornerback Jordan Hancock, among others.

Though Washington's next move is unknown at this time, he has expressed aspirations to become a defensive coordinator and eventually a head coach. Washington had a chance to begin his career as a defensive coordinator last year but turned down an offer to become the defensive coordinator at Tennessee to return to Ohio State for the 2021 season, saying that staying in Columbus was “the best decision for me right now.”

Washington received a new contract last offseason that ran through January 2023, so he would be entitled to receive his $600,000 base salary he was set to be paid by Ohio State in 2022 if he does not land a new job. Per the terms of his Ohio State contract, Washington is required to seek new employment, and Ohio State would only be required to pay Washington the amount greater than he receives in his new position if his new job pays him less than $600,000.

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