Ohio State Defensive Coordinator Jim Knowles Reportedly Meets with Duke About Head Coaching Vacancy

By Dan Hope on November 29, 2023 at 8:22 pm
Jim Knowles

Jim Knowles has emerged as a potential candidate for the head coaching vacancy at Duke.

According to The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach, the Ohio State defensive coordinator was one of three coaching candidates to meet with Duke on Wednesday, along with Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and North Carolina State defensive coordinator Tony Gibson, though the search reportedly remains “in the early stages.”

Knowles previously worked at Duke from 2010-17, serving as its defensive coordinator for his final seven years on staff. He left Duke after the 2017 season to become the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, where he spent four years before becoming Ohio State’s defensive coordinator in 2022.

Knowles was previously the head coach at Cornell, his alma mater, from 2004-09.

The 58-year-old, who has been regarded as the “head coach of the defense” at Ohio State, is in the second year of a three-year contract with the Buckeyes. His current salary of $1.957 million made him the nation’s third-highest-paid assistant coach this season, per USA TODAY.

Under Knowles’ leadership, Ohio State’s defense ranks second in the FBS in points allowed per game (11) and third nationally in yards allowed per game this season (259.9). The Buckeyes had not allowed more than 17 points in any game this year until they gave up 30 points in their loss to Michigan to end the regular season.

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