After remaining silent for nearly a week about the departure of Ohio State cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs to the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, Buckeye head coach Urban Meyer finally released a statement about the depature.
“I want to wish Kerry Coombs and his wife, Holly, the very best as Kerry pursues another opportunity in the National Football League and they begin a new chapter. Kerry is a great coach and a great friend, and I thank him for the contributions he has made to this program in his six years with us.”
Coombs made the move mid-week last week, informing his players of his decision to move on. He joins the staff of new Titans’ head coach Mike Vrabel, himself a former Meyer assistant in 2012 and 2013.
The departure came 16 days after Ohio State announced the hiring of Washington State defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. Grinch’s past duties have generally involved the secondary, which now has a void with Coombs off to the NFL.
With the newly-passed NCAA rule allowing a tenth full-time on-field assistant coach, the Buckeyes still have room to add another coach. Résumés have been flooding Meyer’s inbox for a while now, so he won’t have to look too hard to find a replacement.
Replacing the position will be the easy part. Replacing the impact and production will be the nearly-impossible part.
Including cornerback Denzel Ward, who is a lock as a first-round draft pick this spring, Coombs will have produced five first-round picks in the last five NFL Drafts (Bradley Roby, Eli Apple, Gareon Conley, Marshon Lattimore, and Ward.) The only two former starting cornerbacks who haven’t been first-round picks under Coombs were Travis Howard and Doran Grant, both of whom earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors.