Ohio State Hires Oregon Running Backs Coach Carlos Locklyn to Replace Tony Alford

By Dan Hope on April 1, 2024 at 6:39 pm
Carlos Locklyn
Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard/USA TODAY Network

Ohio State has its new running backs coach.

Carlos Locklyn, Oregon’s running backs coach for the past two years, is leaving Eugene to take the same role with the Buckeyes. Ohio State officially confirmed the hiring of Locklyn on Monday night.

Locklyn is signing a two-year contract with the Buckeyes.

He replaces Tony Alford, who left Ohio State on March 13 to become the running backs coach at Michigan.

Locklyn has been Oregon’s running backs coach since 2022, helping lead a rushing offense that was one of the best in the country for the past two seasons. With Locklyn coaching the running backs, Oregon ranked sixth in the country with 5.52 yards per carry in 2022 and third in the country with 5.91 yards per carry in 2023.

Bucky Irving ran for 1,058 yards and five touchdowns in 2022 and 1,180 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2023 as Oregon’s lead running back during Locklyn’s two seasons in Eugene. Noah Whittington ran for 779 yards and five touchdowns as Oregon’s No. 2 running back in 2022 while Jordan James ran for 759 yards and 11 touchdowns as Oregon’s No. 2 back last season.

Locklyn initially seemed likely to stay at Oregon after signing a contract extension with the Ducks earlier this offseason. Ohio State, however, convinced him to leave its new Big Ten rival for Columbus. Ohio State will have to pay a $366,667 buyout to Oregon, equivalent to what Locklyn’s remaining salary at Oregon for this year; had Locklyn left Oregon before Monday, he would have owed a buyout of $733,333 to cover the full remaining balance of his two-year contract.

Locklyn expressed gratitude for his time at Oregon in a statement posted to social media on Monday.

Carlos Locklyn’s Coaching History
Years Position School
2022-23 Running Backs Oregon
2021 Running Backs Western Kentucky
2020 Director of High School Relations Florida State
2019 Director of High School Relations Memphis
2018 Offensive Analyst Memphis
2017 Weight Room Assistant Memphis
2015-16 Offensive Coordinator Cordova HS (Tenn.)
2012-14 Offensive Coordinator Manassas HS (Tenn.)
2010-11 Offensive/Defensive Coordinator Westwood HS (Tenn.)
2009 Offensive Coordinator Trezevant HS (Tenn.)

Locklyn first became a collegiate running backs coach at Western Kentucky in 2021. He previously spent three years at Memphis, progressing from weight room assistant in 2017 to offensive analyst in 2018 to director of high school relations in 2019, and served as the director of high school relations at Florida State in 2020.

A former running back at Chattanooga, where he played from 1996-99, Locklyn started his coaching career in the high school ranks, serving as offensive coordinator for four different high schools in Tennessee from 2009-16. Locklyn worked in law enforcement before becoming a full-time coach, working both jobs simultaneously when he initially joined Memphis’ staff.

Locklyn joins an Ohio State offensive coaching staff that is now led by offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Chip Kelly and also includes Brian Hartline as co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach, Justin Frye as offensive line coach and Keenan Bailey as tight ends coach.

He becomes the fourth new member of Ohio State’s full-time coaching staff this offseason, joining Kelly, linebackers coach James Laurinaitis and safeties coach Matt Guerrieri.

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