Ohio State Officially Announces Coombs' Hiring
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer didn’t have to look far for his latest hire.
After losing a pair of cornerbacks coaches to promotions, Meyer has turned to a lifetime Ohioan from the Queen City to fill the final opening on his coaching staff at Ohio State.
While it had been speculated for weeks, the Buckeyes officially announced the hiring of Kerry Coombs (pronounced “combs”) Wednesday as Meyer’s ninth, and final, assistant coach.
Coombs comes to Columbus from just down the road, where he was associate head coach, special teams coordinator, defensive passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach at the University of Cincinnati.
Assuming this one sticks, Coombs will coach the cornerbacks under OSU defensive coordinator Luke Fickell in 2012. He will also work alongside co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers in the secondary.
“I am incredibly excited to be on this coaching staff. I am overwhelmed by the quality of everything, especially the coaches and the players,” said Coombs, an Ohio native with degrees from Dayton and Wright State.
“When you grow up in Ohio, there are things you don’t allow yourself to dream about. I watched Woody and Archie and Pete Johnson and Cornelius Greene … and now I get to coach here? This is unbelievably humbling and gratifying for me.”
Coombs, 50, spent the last five seasons coaching the defensive backs at Cincinnati, but he was a legend in the Queen City long before he joined the Bearcats in 2006 under former head coach Brian Kelly.
Before that, Coombs spent 16 seasons at Colerain High School, where he led the Cardinals to a perfect 15-0 season and a Division I state championship in 2004. His teams went to 10 state playoffs, including five state semifinal berths, and their 50-10 win over Canton McKinley is still the most points scored and the largest margin of victory in the Ohio “big school” state title game.
“Kerry Coombs had an incredible record of achievement as a high school head coach and he is highly regarded as one of the great coaches in Ohio high school football history,” Meyer said Wednesday.
“I have watched him coach in high school and at the University of Cincinnati and I have great respect for the way he works. He is a strong recruiter. He knows defense and special teams. And he is an excellent teacher.”
He was member of the University of Dayton’s 1980 Division III national championship team, and charged through the high school ranks after his playing days were over. He spent two seasons as an assistant at Greenhills High School and four at Lakota before taking over as head coach at Loveland in 1989. Two years later, he became the head coach at Colerain.
Coombs had a 161-34 record as the head coach at Colerain, who won seven-consecutive Greater Miami Conference championships from 2000-06. He sent five of his Colerain players to Ohio State, including Jefferson Kelley in the mid-1990s and most recently Connor and Spencer Smith and Tyler Moeller.
His son Brayden played collegiately at Miami (Ohio) and is currently on staff with the Cincinnati Bengals and his daughter Courtney played soccer at Ball State.
At Ohio State, Coombs replaces Bill Sheridan, who was originally hired to replace Taver Johnson after he left to become co-defensive coordinator at Arkansas alongside former OSU safeties coach Paul Haynes.
Sheridan lasted less than a month with the Buckeyes before he was hired as the new defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under first-year coach Greg Schiano.
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