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Ohio State names Chris Ash co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach

Former Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash was named Ohio State co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Jan. 23. Credit: Courtesy of Arkansas Athletic Department

Former Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash was named Ohio State co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Jan. 23.
Credit: Courtesy of Arkansas Athletic Department

Urban Meyer’s rejuvenated coaching staff might be complete.

Ohio State officially announced the hiring of Chris Ash as co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Thursday, rounding out coach Meyer’s coaching staff for now, according to a press release.

“We’ve competed against a Chris Ash defense before and I have respect for him as a coach,” Meyer said in a released statement. “I like the fact he has experience in the Big Ten Conference and that he is a great recruiter. He was highly recommended by everyone I spoke to.”

An OSU spokesman said in an email Thursday afternoon Ash is set to earn $520,000 as part of the Buckeyes’ coaching staff, $30,000 less than what he made in his previous position.

Ash comes to OSU after spending one year as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Arkansas. He is set to replace former OSU co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Everett Withers, who was named the next head football coach at James Madison University Dec. 20. Withers earned $580,000 this past season at OSU, according to The Lantern archives.

“I was attracted to this position because it is Ohio State,” Ash said in a released statement. “And I had to wonder if I ever would have this opportunity again. This is one of the top five college football programs in the country. It has tremendous history and tradition, and it is a great academic institution.

“The opportunity to work for coach Meyer and to learn as a part of his staff will absolutely enhance my knowledge of the game and my coaching experiences.”

Prior to coaching at Arkansas this past season, Ash spent two years at Wisconsin with former Badgers and current Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema. In 2011, the Wisconsin defense allowed just 163.6 passing yards per game, good for fourth-best nationally. It also ranked 13th in the country in scoring defense, giving up just 19 points per game, and 15th in total defense, allowing 316.3 yards per game.

In 2012, the Badgers defense finished ranked 15th in the country in total defense, allowing 322.6 yards per game, and 16th in scoring (19.1 points per game) and 18th in fewest passing yards allowed with 193.6 yards per game. He was part of the coaching staff that helped lead the Badgers to three straight Rose Bowls from 2011-13.

Ash will look to bring stability to OSU’s defensive secondary, which finished ranked 112th in the nation last season, giving up an average 268 yards per game.

“To be successful, I think you have to be detailed,” Ash said in a released statement. “You have to be able to coach and teach the fundamentals of the game, and that’s how you develop players. You have to have a consistency with how you prepare yourself so you can prepare them and then get them to play hard.”

Ash, a 1996 graduate of Drake University who grew up in Iowa, said in a statement he is looking forward to recruiting for OSU.

“You can recruit anywhere in the country,” Ash said in reference to the OSU coaches. “You can recruit players that are talented, that have character and that believe education is very important. When you have all three of those attributes in players, then you can build upon this outstanding program.”

Ash earned $550,000 this past season at Arkansas, according to the USA TODAY coaches database.

The Buckeyes are set to open their 2014 campaign Aug. 30 against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.


  1. Have fun with your new coach… just know that he likes to skunk around with the student assistants. His current fiance was a student who “assisted” him out of his marriage

  2. Someone who doesn't care

    ^^^^^^ Bret Bielema, I know it’s you just by the way you used the word skunk. Your the only one who uses it in that context. IT’S OVER!!

  3. I think Chris Ash will be a GREAT addition to our defensive coaching staff; it’s pretty clear that our defensive backs were the weak part of last year’s defense.

    Are there bonuses built into the assistant’s contracts — for example if Ohio State becomes one of the top 4 teams in the playoffs or if Ohio State wins the Big Ten or Wins their bowl game — does assistants get bonuses — hopefully that would more than makeup for his cut in pay.

    I very much liked Meyer’s comment: HE IS A GREAT RECRUITER — so very important.

  4. Uhm, didn’t Arkansas LOSE almost all their games last year?

    And, please get some offensive coaches. The Offense’s same three plays were stale from the start of last year’s season.

  5. Should be easy to coach in the B1G after the beating he took in the SEC.

  6. Really don't need that crap round here

    We really don’t need that mess here in Arkansas. U see what “skunking around” with assistants got this program into when Bobby Petreno was caught “skunking around” with his assistant. Good riddance to Ash and his skunking butt.

  7. Can’t we all just get along???? Lol.

  8. Better off without that coward

    Ash was the worst DC ever at Arkansas. Way over his head. Just wait, you’ll see. He won’t last!

  9. Arkansas’s head coach can’t get any new players and can’t even keep the assistants he’s got – next they’ll be asked to leave the SEC. Can’t they fire him?? It’s obvious he’s not capable of handling a head coaching job in the SEC.

  10. Coach BB is doing a great job. Arkansas was in a dark place those seniors went through a lot and basically gave up. He’s bringing in great guys and will buil an empire here at Arkansas. Just a side note. If take a losing SEC team over a crooked BIG10 team any day. You can change your record you can’t change that terrible rep Ohio State has. WPS!

  11. Ash never was the smartest tool in the box. He took a demotion and a 30k pay cut just to leave the most dominate conference in college football. Just don’t get it..

  12. Woo pig…maybe you should read the article he says top 5 colleg football program…Arkansas is far from that

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