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Greg Schiano named Ohio State's defensive coordinator replacing Chris Ash

In a bit of a surprise, Ohio State's found their new defensive coordinator in an unlikely place.

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano was named Ohio State associate head coach/defensive coordinator Friday afternoon, and will work alongside Luke Fickell. A source had told SB Nation earlier in the week the two sides were talking and expected things to trend this way.

"Greg Schiano is an excellent coach," Meyer said. "He is someone I have known for quite some time now and someone who is going to align with our staff extremely well. I think he will be outstanding as a coach and mentor in our program and I am pleased to have him on our staff."

Chris Ash, Ohio State's co-defensive coordinator for the last two seasons and defensive play caller, is taking over at Schiano's old stomping grounds in Piscataway following OSU's Battlefrog Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame.

Schiano is expected to work closely with the existing Buckeye defensive brain trust comprised of linebackers coach/defensive coordinator Luke Fickell and cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs.

While Schiano's failures in the NFL were very public, he brought success to Rutgers, a place that had been a laughing stock for much of the 90s. Schiano's handling of a series of staph infections drew the ire of many in NFL media circles and reports of his harsh demeanor when dealing with players was also spoken about at both the professional and college ranks.

In addition to helping Rutgers reach new levels of success, the Scarlet Knights often had very good defenses under Schiano. Rutgers recorded a top 50 defense in S&P+ five times from 2005-2011, and cracked the top 25 three times, peaking at 11 in 2006, a year that Rutgers finished the season 12th in the final AP Poll.

Schiano also has an excellent record as a recruiter. Towards the end of his tenure with the Scarlet Knights, Rutgers was routinely securing top fifty recruiting classes per the 247Sports composite, including a 28th ranked class in 2007, and a 24th ranked class in 2012. His addition should help Ohio State's future efforts in New Jersey and along the east coast.

Schiano and Urban Meyer have had a relationship for a number of years with Schiano visiting Ohio State's practices on multiple occasions. Ash spoke to he and Schiano's relationship during his introductory press conference at Rutgers this past week.