Ohio State has done a great job hiring assistant coaches over the last few seasons, and with the success that the program has had, that typically means they'll need to hire some more. The Buckeyes have one more opening on their staff now, as defensive coordinator Chris Ash is expected to take the head coaching position at Rutgers, as first reported by Sports Illustrated's Thayer Evans. Dan Wolken shortly after confirmed Evans' report that the two sides were nearing agreement. NJ.com confirmed the news with a Rutgers official.
Ash, who joined Ohio State's staff after stints as the DC at Wisconsin and Arkansas, helped immediately turn Ohio State's struggling secondary around, improving fundamentals, and ushered in a dominant defense. The Buckeyes were second in scoring defense nationally this season, giving up only 14 points a game, while finishing 8th in total defensive S&P+ this year. Ohio State was 11th in total defensive S&P+ in 2014, the year they won the national championship.
Ash's potential departure is no great surprise. He interviewed for the head coaching position at Colorado State last season, and was tied to the opening at Syracuse this cycle. After serving as a DC for three different high level P5 programs, it's only natural that an ambitious coach would want a chance to build their own program.
Assuming the t's are crossed and the i's dotted, congrats to Coach Ash.