It has been a week since Ohio State formally announced a new addition to football coach Urban Meyer’s coaching staff, and another is imminent, according to multiple reports, social media accounts and the school’s own directory.
OSU officially named assistant head coach and defensive line coach Larry Johnson to Meyer’s staff Jan. 15. But the other new staff member, co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Chris Ash, has yet to be announced by the school as a coach.
Aside from when Ash will officially join Johnson as a member of the Buckeyes coaching staff is how much each new coach will be paid.
An OSU spokesman told The Lantern in a series of emails Tuesday that the Buckeyes have “only announced Larry Johnson as a member of the coaching staff.”
The spokesman also said the Department of Human Resources has yet to inform him of Johnson’s salary following multiple email requests by The Lantern beginning Jan. 15.
The Lantern has been requesting information on both of the new coaches’ salaries since Johnson was announced by the school as a coach last week. The Lantern staff requests for the salaries of new OSU employees after their hiring and is typically provided the information within 24 to 48 hours of submitting the request.
Though he has not yet officially been named an OSU coach, Ash has since changed the bio for his personal Twitter account, @CoachChrisAsh, to reflect his reported new position.
“Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs Coach for The Ohio State University,” the bio reads, also including a URL address to the football page on the OSU athletic website, where he has yet to be listed.
Ash is also listed on OSU’s public directory Find People as “Assistant Coach – Major Sports.” Ash’s working title is listed as “Assistant Coach – Football” in the directory.
Johnson, who is set to replace former OSU defensive line coach Mike Vrabel after Vrabel announced his intentions to join the NFL’s Houston Texans via Twitter Jan. 9, is known for his ability to recruit and mentor defensive linemen who eventually make the jump to the NFL. Meyer called Johnson an “outstanding addition” to the Buckeye coaching staff and said he has “great respect for (Johnson) as a family man, as a coach and mentor of young men and as a recruiter,” according to an OSU press release.
It appears Johnson has already been hot on the recruiting trail since being announced as a coach at OSU. According to his personal Twitter account, @OSUrushmen1, Johnson’s first day working for the Buckeyes was Jan. 16.
“Great first day as a buckeye on the road ! Osurushmen1,” a tweet from the account read. Johnson, along with Meyer, was also in a photo posted to the social media site by OSU defensive line commit Dylan Thompson, @BRONCODE59, posted Monday evening.
According to the USA TODAY coaches database, Ash made a base salary of $550,000 this past season at Arkansas, including a “max bonus” of $45,833. Johnson’s salary while he was at Penn State was not available on the database, and the school did not respond to multiple requests by The Lantern for the figure.
In his second and final year at OSU, Ash’s predecessor, Everett Withers — who was announced as the new head football coach at James Madison University Dec. 20 — earned $585,000. Vrabel made $291,004.
Both coaches look to strengthen a defensive unit that has gone south since Meyer took over following the 2011 season, a year where the Buckeyes finished with the nation’s 19th best defense. The unit finished 34th in 2012 and 47th overall this past year.
OSU is set to kick off the 2014-15 season Aug. 30 against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.