Veteran Ohio State assistant not returning to Buckeyes

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Kerry Coombs had many stops throughout his coaching career, but the better part of his last decade has been dominated by Ohio State. However, his time in Columbus seems to be over — Coombs won’t return to the Buckeyes in 2022.

On Thursday, Austin Ward of Lettermen Row confirmed the news that Coombs would be leaving the program.

“The Buckeyes will not have the legendary position coach Coombs returning for a third season during his encore run with the program,” wrote Ward. “One that didn’t go the way anybody expected when he returned as a defensive coordinator.”

Moreover, Ward wrote that the Buckeyes were open to a return if Coombs would return in a position-coach role. Evidently, the veteran defensive assistant wasn’t on board with the idea.

Earlier in 2021, Coombs was stripped of play-calling duties after Oregon defeated Ohio State in Columbus. However, the veteran finished out the season with the Buckeyes. As it turns out, it was the beginning of the end for Coombs at Ohio State.

The news of Kerry Coombs departing from Columbus comes on the heels of Ohio State bringing in some new blood to their coaching staff. This week, the Buckeyes have brought in Perry Eliano from Cincinnati and Justin Frye from UCLA.

More on Kenny Coombs, Ohio State

After missing out on the College Football Playoff, Coombs is part of a shakeup in Columbus. Ryan Day doesn’t want anything less than another Big Ten title, and he’s doing everything to ensure the Buckeyes reach those heights once again.

First, Ohio State officially announced the hiring of UCLA offensive line coach Justin Frye on Tuesday morning. Day has named Frye as his new associate head coach, as well as the Buckeyes’ new offensive line coach.

Day and Frye worked two seasons at Boston College, 2013 and 2014. From 2013-17, with Day as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Frye served as the run game coordinator/offensive line coach.

Then, the Buckeyes hired Cincinnati cornerbacks coach Perry Eliano as its new safeties coach, per Letterman Row. Eliano has spent the past two seasons with the Bearcats and joins the Buckeyes’ program to replace Matt Barnes, who’s now the defensive coordinator at Memphis.

Eliano, 44, is a Killeen, Texas native who played defensive back at Stephen F. Austin from 1996-99. He’s worked in the coaching field since 2001, when he became a graduate assistant at his alma mater.

As you can see, there’s some new blood in Columbus. Ryan Day is changing things up to get back on top of the Big Ten.