Coombs to coach special teams.

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Last updated: 02/08/2013 4:53 PM

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Buckeyes Promote Coombs to Special Teams Coordinator
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State assistant Kerry Coombs has a new title, and no, it’s not master motivator or head cheer director.

Kerry Coombs
Photo by Jim Davidson
Kerry Coombs

The OSU assistant who probably most exemplifies Urban Meyer’s desire for a staff that “coaches like it’s hair is on fire” has been promoted to special teams coordinator, a University spokesman announced on Friday.

Coombs was hired last January to replace Taver Johnson and (briefly) Bill Sheridan as the cornerbacks coach in Columbus. He will continue to work with Bradley Roby, Doran Grant and the other Ohio State corners, but Meyer felt Coombs was deserving of another title as well.

“Kerry Coombs is an excellent coach who has a great deal of experience and expertise with special teams,” Meyer said Friday.

“He is an outstanding teacher, an excellent motivator and he has a true passion for special teams.”    

Coombs is in his 31st year of coaching, including his seventh on the collegiate level. He had a highly successful 16-year run as head coach at Colerain High School, located just outside of Cincinnati, before taking a job as the defensive backs coach at the University of Cincinnati in 2007.

He became the Bearcats’ special teams coordinator under current Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly in 2009 and worked extensively with Ohio State’s kick coverage team during his first season in Columbus.

“I am incredibly excited and honored to be given the responsibility of special teams coordinator,” Coombs said Friday.

“The special teams have always been a part of the game that I have enjoyed coaching. These plays are so critical to the success of a team, and they can really swing momentum. I look forward to having an increased role in the development of them.”

Coombs not only helped coach Ohio State to a 12-0 record this year, but he also coached the only pair of cornerbacks from one school in the nation – sophomore Bradley Roby and senior Travis Howard – to earn first-team all-conference honors.

Roby, who opted to return for his junior season in 2013, led the nation with 1.73 passes defended per game, a total that included a school-record-tying 17 pass break-ups. Howard led the Big Ten in interceptions with four and .33 per game. 

Coombs is a lifelong Ohioan. He grew up in Colerain, graduated from Colerain High School in 1979 and from the University of Dayton in 1983, and has a master’s degree from Wright State (1996). He is in his second year as an assistant under Meyer with the Buckeyes and has been instrumental in helping them create inroads as recruiters in the state of Michigan, along with the city of Cincinnati.

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