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Ohio State hires 49ers’ Jeff Hafley, Michigan’s Greg Mattison as co-defensive coordinators

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Also, Larry Johnson has been promoted to associate head coach.

NFL: San Franciso 49ers-OTA Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The dominos are continuing to fall when it comes to the Ohio State Buckeyes’ coaching staff, as the Buckeyes have confirmed that they will make the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive backs coach the co-defensive coordinator alongside newly hired Greg Mattison.

Hafley is a 39-year-old New Jersey native who was spent time working for (reportedly) out-going OSU defensive coordinator Greg Schiano at both Rutgers and the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He then coached the DBs for the Cleveland Browns for two seasons under Mike Pettine before joining Chip Kelly on the 49ers staff, where new OSU head coach Ryan Day coached the quarterbacks. Hafley was retained by Kyle Shanahan when he took over in San Fran.

In addition, a 69-year-old defensive line coach Greg Mattison is leaving the Michigan Wolverines’ sideline to join Day’s staff. Mattison is a staple in college football, having worked at Michigan in the 1990s before leaving to coach at Notre Dame, Florida under Urban Meyer, and then as the linebackers coach and defensive coordinator for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens under John Harbaugh.

Mattison returned to Ann Arbor in 2011 as the defensive coordinator under Brady Hoke, and was retained by Jim Harbaugh as the defensive line coach.

With these hires, and the reports that linebackers coach Bill Davis won’t return to OSU in 2019, that would indicate that the Buckeyes are in need of at least one other coach to take over the LBs. However, rumors are swirling that cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson might not be retained either; opening up another spot on the staff.

Ohio State also confirmed on Monday that defensive line coach Larry Johnson will continue coaching that group, but will now be the team’s associate head coach. He previously was the team’s assistant head coach. Schiano was the associate under Meyer.