Co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach, Jeff Hafley, discusses junior cornerback Jeffrey Okudah’s skills and mindset at a press conference on Aug. 20. Credit: Khalid Hashi | LTV Sports Assistant Director

While Justin Fields, Chase Young, J.K. Dobbins and Jeff Okudah litter the finalist spots for major national player awards, one of Ohio State’s coaches is getting recognition of his own.

Co-defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley was named one of 15 semi-finalists for the 2019 Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s best assistant coach, it was announced via the Broyles Foundation’s website Tuesday.

Hafley was hired by head coach Ryan Day from the San Francisco 49ers to coordinate alongside Greg Mattison. He’s helped revamp a Buckeye defense that finished with the most yards allowed per game in school history in 2018, guiding the silver bullets to the No. 1 spot for both scoring and total defense nationally.

Ohio State’s defense also leads the country in passing yards allowed per game, and is No. 2 in sacks, No. 2 in tackles for loss, No. 5 in rushing yards allowed per game and No. 6 in third-down defense.

Five finalists of the 15 semi-finalists will be selected by the Broyles foundation to go to Little Rock, Arkansas, where the winner will be announced Dec. 10.

Ohio State’s season continues against Michigan in Ann Arbor at noon Saturday.