Recapping Buckeyes coaching additions, losses this offseason

Spencer-Holbrookby:Spencer Holbrook05/25/23


COLUMBUS — Ohio State has one of the best coaching staffs in America every year.

And Buckeyes assistants are always sought after by other programs around the country, leading to coaching turnover every offseason.

Lettermen Row is combing through all 16 coaching moves, both into the program and out of the program, that have happened since the offseason arrived. Let’s break down all of them as spring practice is set to begin next week.

Buckeyes coaching departures

Kevin Wilson: After six season as the Ohio State offensive coordinator, Kevin Wilson finally got another chance to lead a program. Wilson accepted an offer to become the next head coach at Tulsa. Wilson joined the Ohio State coaching staff after being fired by Indiana, where he served as head coach for six seasons and compiled a 26-47 career record as a head coach. Prior to his time in Bloomington, Wilson was the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops, Northwestern under Randy Walker and at Miami (Ohio). Wilson played collegiate football at North Carolina, where he was an offensive lineman, before he got into coaching.

Ohio State has had plenty of offensive success under Wilson in the last six years. He has been with the program every year Ryan Day has worked at Ohio State. Wilson produced numerous NFL-level tight ends during his time with the Buckeyes. Wilson and the Buckeyes ranked as one of the best offenses in the country in each season he was with the program.

Zach Grant: Ohio State lost its director of player personnel in December. Zach Grant, who spent one year with the Buckeyes, was named the new general manager of Cincinnati Bearcats football. Before Ohio State, Grant was the general manager at Western Kentucky under Tyson Helton. In his year at Ohio State, Grant has helped the Buckeyes put together a 2023 recruiting class that ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 5 nationally in the On3 Consensus Rankings.

Reilly Jeffers: One of the first moves made by new UAB head coach Trent Dilfer was to hire Buckeyes graduate assistant Reilly Jeffers, who worked with the Ohio State running backs for the last two years, to be his next tight ends coach. Jeffers and Dilfer coached together at Lipscomb Academy, where Dilfer was the head coach before heading to UAB.

Miguel Patrick: Former Ohio State quality control coach Miguel Patrick is the new defensive line coach for UAB, leaving Ohio State after just one season. Prior to taking the job at Ohio State, Patrick was the head coach at Crisp County High School in Georgia and powerhouse Cedar Grove High School, where he won a state title in 2019, before that.

Matt Guerrieri: Former Ohio State senior advisor and analyst Matt Guerrieri was officially named Indiana’s co-defensive coordinator last week. That news came more than a month after Guerrieri, 34, left the Buckeyes to take the defensive coordinator job at Tulsa on Jan. 6. He joined the Golden Hurricane staff following the head coach hiring of former Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson.

Koy McFarland: Former Ohio State linebackers assistant coach Koy McFarland landed a job on Kevin Wilson’s staff at Tulsa after a year working with the Buckeyes. The former Oklahoma State assistant under Jim Knowles will be the new linebackers coach at Tulsa, returning to the state of Oklahoma.

Cam Spence: Former Ohio State defensive line assistant coach Cam Spence is now the assistant defensive line coach at North Carolina after serving under Larry Johnson. He was named on the 2022 On3 list of rising coaching stars.

Keegan O’Hara: Former Ohio State offensive analyst moved on after serving on the Buckeyes staff. He stayed in the Big Ten, as he accepted a job as an offensive analyst for Minnesota.

Buckeyes coaching promotions, additions

Brian Hartline: Following Wilson’s departure to take the Tulsa head coaching job, it was always expected that Brian Hartline would be promoted to offensive coordinator. The Buckeyes made that official in mid-January. Hartline, the former Buckeyes wide receiver, NFL playmaker and highly-respected wide receivers coach under Urban Meyer and Ryan Day, is now in charge of one of the country’s top offenses.

Hartline is well-respected in the coaching community as he continues to climb the ladder. He was listed as a candidate for the Kentucky offensive coordinator job, and he interviewed for the head coaching position at Cincinnati last month.

But he turned all of those opportunities down to stay with the Buckeyes. Hartline was previously the Buckeyes wide receivers coach and passing-game coordinator. He has earned a reputation as one of the country’s premier recruiters of wide receivers. He has hauled in at least one five-star receiver in every recruiting class since 2019. But he also can develop that talent, sending both Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave to the NFL as first-round picks.

Keenan Bailey: Buckeyes offensive staffer Keenan Bailey is the new tight ends coach for the Buckeyes, replacing Wilson, who left his post at Ohio State to become the head coach at Tulsa following the College Football Playoff.

Bailey previously served as a senior advisor to head coach Ryan Day. But his name is often brought up by Buckeyes tight ends and wide receivers as a major developer of what they do on the field. Buckeyes leading tight end and captain Cade Stover has credited Bailey with helping him become a pass-catcher and not just a blocker from his tight end position.

Prior to joining the Ohio State coaching staff in 2016, Bailey worked as a recruiting analyst at Notre Dame, his alma mater. Since arriving at Ohio State, Bailey has worked with running backs (2016), wide receivers (2017-2018) and quarterbacks (2019), according to Ohio State Athletics.

Marc Votteler: The Buckeyes found Zach Grant’s replacement, and they’re filling that void with yet another rising star in the behind-the-scenes industry. Ohio State hired Marshall general manager Marc Votteler as its new director of player personnel in mid-February. Votteler and Grant were both selected to On3’s 2022 list of rising star personnel and recruiting staffers you need to know. Votteler has an extensive background in the player-personnel arena. Before his time at Marshall, he was the assistant director of player personnel at Alabama, UCF and Tennessee.

James Laurinaitis: The Buckeyes added former All-American linebacker and NFL veteran James Laurinaitis to their coaching staff, Ohio State announced in mid-February. The move came after Laurinaitis spent one year on the coaching staff under fellow former Buckeyes star Marcus Freeman at Notre Dame. He was the assistant linebackers coach and a graduate assistant for Freeman last season.

Laurinaitis is one of the most decorated Ohio State players of all time. He was a three-time consensus All-American (2006-2008), the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year twice and three-time first-team all-Big Ten. He won the Bronco Nagurski Trophy in 2006, the Butkus Award in 2007 and the Lott Trophy in 2008. He played in two national title games and two Fiesta Bowls. He was a second-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Gerren DuHart: Former Michigan State graduate assistant Gerren DuHart was hired by Ohio State to be its assistant defensive backs coach following interviews for the position. DuHart was part of the Spartans’ defensive staff each of the past two seasons. He also assisted with coaching the defensive backs in East Lansing. He replaces Matt Guerrieri.

Gunner Daniel: Ohio State found a new special teams assistant coach when it hired Gunner Daniel. After starting his college career at Ball State but not seeing any game action his freshman year in 2017, Gunner Daniel transferred to Wagner, where he won the long snapping job in camp. He held that role for two seasons. In 2019, he logged a pair of tackles and helped Seahawks place kicker Eric Silvester earn All-NEC honors. He finished his final two seasons of college football at Boston College. Daniel is a Marysville, Ohio, native. He graduated from Marysville High School after earning all-conference honors as a center and team captain during his senior season.

LaAllen Clark: Ohio State found a replacement for Cam Spence when it hired LaAllen Clark to its coaching staff to assist Larry Johnson. Clark was previously the defensive ends coach for Southern University. He began his coaching career at Prairie View A&M. Clark has worked with NFL defensive ends in the past, and he brings that experience to the Buckeyes staff.

Riley Larkin: The Buckeyes found a new offensive analyst this winter, hiring former Middle Tennessee State offensive coach Riley Larkin, who played quarterback at John Carroll before moving on to coaching.

Mike Dawson: The Buckeyes added former Nebraska defensive line and outside linebackers coach Mike Dawson prior to spring practice beginning. Dawson most recently worked with the Cornhuskers edge rushers last season. Dawson and Ohio State coach Ryan Day have a long history together, both stemming from the Chip Kelly coaching tree.

Dawson is a former defensive assistant at New Hampshire under Chip Kelly — when Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day was the quarterback for the Wildcats.

Following Day’s playing career, Day and Dawson coached together at New Hampshire. Ryan Day was the Wildcats tight ends coach, and Dawson was the linebackers coach before Day became a graduate assistant at Boston College.

Joe Philbin: Former NFL head coach and Super Bowl winning assistant coach Joe Philbin has joined the Buckeyes program as an offensive analyst.

Philbin was the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers from 2007-2011, winning Super Bowl XLV while calling plays for an Aaron Rodgers-led offense. Following the Super Bowl win, Philbin landed a head coaching job in the NFL, taking over for the Miami Dolphins. He coached the Dolphins from 2012-2015, amassing a head coaching record of 26-30.

After being fired by the Dolphins, Philbin became the assistant head coach and offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts for two seasons before landing a job with the Packers as their offensive line coach and interim head coach in 2018. He most recently was the Dallas Cowboys offensive line coach from 2020-2022.

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