Ohio State hires two Michigan assistants, Greg Schiano won’t return

Greg Schiano has been on Ohio State’s staff for the past three seasons. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)
Greg Schiano has been on Ohio State’s staff for the past three seasons. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

Greg Schiano’s run as Ohio State’s defensive coordinator is over.

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day announced that Schiano will not be back for the 2019 season with the Buckeyes. His departure comes days after co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch was named the new defensive coordinator at Oklahoma.

“I want to thank coach Greg Schiano for the example he set every day, for the players and the members of this coaching staff, of what it means to be selfless, committed and dedicated,” Day said. “Our players saw these attributes in Greg and they learned from his example. I, personally, also want to thank Greg for his wisdom and thoughtful guidance during my time as acting head coach this season. I wish him the best as he pursues options in the NFL.”

Monday afternoon, Ohio State announced that Jeff Hafley and Greg Mattison would serve as the team’s co-defensive coordinators in 2019. Hafley was the defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers in 2018 and Mattison was Michigan’s defensive line coach in 2018.

Schiano was not mentioned in the press release. The only other defensive coach mentioned was Larry Johnson, who will be the team’s associate head coach in addition to the defensive line coach.

On Tuesday, Day announced the hire of another Michigan assistant. Al Washington, who served as UM’s linebackers coach and special teams coordinator, will be the Buckeyes’ linebackers coach.

“Al Washington is going to be a terrific addition to our coaching staff,” Day said. “I’ve known him as player and as a coach and I know his family very well. I think his familiarity with this region as a coach and as a recruiter is going to be very impactful, as will his leadership with our linebackers unit.”

Schiano was in Columbus for three seasons

Schiano joined Urban Meyer’s staff at Ohio State after Chris Ash left to be the coach at Rutgers. Schiano came to Ohio State three seasons after he was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was the coach of the Bucs in 2012 and 2013 after spending 11 seasons as Rutgers’ head coach.

Schiano was very close to becoming Tennessee’s head coach after the 2017 season. He was so close to being the team’s coach that he was in the final stages of agreeing to the deal. But as a very vocal segment of Tennessee fans voiced their displeasure with Schiano, the deal was called off and Tennessee ended up going with Jeremy Pruitt after a tumultuous search. The search ended up costing Tennessee AD John Currie his job.

Ohio State’s defense gave up 5.6 yards per play in 2018 and had a tendency to give up big plays. The Buckeyes’ best defender, DE Nick Bosa, suffered a season-ending injury in the third game of the season and ended up leaving the team to begin preparing for the NFL.

Mattison was Michigan’s defensive coordinator

It’s not often you see a coach leave Michigan for Ohio State and vice versa. Mattison has been the defensive line coach under Jim Harbaugh for the past four seasons. Harbaugh retained Mattison from Brady Hoke’s staff. Mattison had been Hoke’s defensive coordinator.

Washington is a native of Columbus, so the move to OSU is a return home. Washington worked alongside Day at Boston College for five seasons (2012-16). Washington played defensive end at BC between 2002-05. Day was a graduate assistant there for two of those seasons.

Michigan’s defenses under coordinator Don Brown have been some of the best in the country in recent years. Though Ohio State fans would gladly remind you that the Buckeyes put up 62 points in a 23-point win in November.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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