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June 2018
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‘Ohio State’ Articles

Taver Johnson returns to Ohio State as Cornerbacks Coach


Taver Johnson (courtesy Temple)

Feb. 13, 2018



Urban Meyer Names Taver Johnson Cornerbacks Coach

Ohio native returns to Columbus and Ohio State where he previously coached five seasons

COLUMBUS, Ohio Taver Johnson, a 23-year coaching veteran with prior positions in the Big Ten Conference, the SEC and the National Football League, has joined coach Urban Meyer’s staff as cornerbacks coach, Meyer announced today. Additional responsibilities for Johnson may be announced at a later date.


“I am really pleased to have Taver Johnson join our coaching staff,” Meyer said. “I’ve known Taver for a long time, going back to our days at Notre Dame, and I think he is a terrific coach and person. He’ll do an excellent job coaching our cornerbacks and mentoring the young men in our program.”


Johnson, who is a native of Cincinnati, comes home to Ohio after spending the 2017 season working as defensive coordinator at Temple University.


He will be coaching at Ohio State for a second time. He was cornerbacks coach for four seasons under Jim Tressel (2007-10) and for the 2011 season under Luke Fickell. He left Ohio State after the 2011 season to become assistant head coach and linebackers coach at the University of Arkansas. He was elevated to interim head coach that spring and was coach of the Razorback defensive backs for the 2013 season.


Johnson was a standout football player at Wittenberg, a two-time Division III All-American and North Coast Athletic Conference defensive player of the year in 1992 and 1993.


He began his coaching career at his alma mater in 1994 and spent two seasons coaching there before a three-year tenure at Millikin (Ill.) where he coached linebackers and served as defensive coordinator in 1998.


A one-year graduate assistantship brought Johnson to Notre Dame in 1999, where he worked with Meyer. Four seasons at Miami of Ohio as linebackers coach followed before one season of coaching special teams with the Cleveland Browns. He returned to Miami for 2005-06 and then joined Tressel’s staff at Ohio State in March of 2007.


Johnson coached three All-Americans at Ohio State: cornerbacks Malcolm Jenkins, who also won the Thorpe Award in 2008 as the nation’s outstanding defensive back, and Chimdi Chekwa, and safety Kurt Coleman. All three players were selected in the NFL Draft. Jenkins just won his second Super Bowl two weeks ago with Philadelphia and is a nine-year NFL veteran. Coleman is with the Carolina Panthers and he, too, just completed his ninth year in the league.


Prior to coaching at Temple, Johnson was on former Ohio State assistant coach Darrell Hazell’s staff at Purdue for three seasons, from 2014-16, coaching the defensive backs.


Johnson received his degree in business administration from Wittenberg in 1994. He and his wife, Sharday, have a son, Tyree, and a daughter, Brooklynn.








Ohio State rewards football assistant coaching staff with raises

Feb. 14, 2018



Ohio State Football Assistant Coaching Staff Receives Promotions

2017 Big Ten and Cotton Bowl champions extend 12-win (or more) seasons to five in last six years

COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State University Department of Athletics is increasing salaries and benefits for the members of the football assistant coaching staff after a season in which the team won at least 12 games for the fifth time in six years while winning a Big Ten Conference championship and a Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic championship with a decisive victory over No. 8 USC.


Ohio State was the only program in the nation last year – and the only school in the last five years – with a Top 10 ranking in both total offense (7th) and total defense (9th). The assistant coaching staff’s combined salary was only 13th nationally, but that ranking should change this year with the additional funds to the salary and benefits pool, including an $800,000 salary for the new 10th assistant coach, Alex Grinch.


There were 15 assistant coaches around the country making at least $1 million in salary in 2017, and two Ohio State assistant coaches will reach that total this year for a first time. Associate head coach and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will make $1.5 million in the coming year while offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day will make $1 million per year on a new three-year contract. Both coaches were pursued by NFL teams and Division I programs during the off season. Increases for all assistant coaches total $3.4 million.


“The reality is we have to compensate people consistent with the expectations and their performance,” Gene Smith, Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director, said last week. “I am incredibly pleased with the performance of these coaches, year after year, and I’m certain Buckeye Nation is, as well.”


Each of Ohio State’s 10 assistant coaches are expected to be among the top three in salary at their respective position within the Big Ten Conference for 2018.


Ohio State Assistant Coaching Staff Salaries and Increases for 2018

§  Greg Schiano – $700,000 in 2017 to $1,500,000 in 2018: $800,000 increase

§  Ryan Day – $400,000 in 2017 to $1,000,000 in 2018: $600,000 increase

§  Kevin Wilson – $650,000 in 2017 to $800,000 in 2018: $150,000 increase

§  Alex Grinch – $800,000 in 2018

§  Larry Johnson – $575,225 in 2017 to $750,000 in 2018; $174,775 increase

§  Tony Alford – $450,000 in 2017 to $525,000 in 2018; $75,000 increase

§  Bill Davis – $500,000 in 2017; $500,000 in 2018

§  Greg Studrawa – $410,000 in 2017 to $500,000 in 2018; $90,000 increase

§  Taver Johnson – $345,000 in 2018

§  Zach Smith – $300,000 in 2017 to $340,000 in 2018; $40,000 increase


Discussions are underway on two-year contract extension for head coach Urban Meyer that will keep him on the Ohio State sidelines at least through the 2022 football season. The extension is expected to be voted on in April by the Ohio State Board of Trustees.


Meyer, who made $6.43 million in base salary in 2017, is 73-8 through his first six seasons as Ohio State coach, including a 47-3 record in the Big Ten with six consecutive divisional championships. Meyer’s Buckeyes have the second-most wins in college football since 2012 and the eight losses are tied for the fewest in that time. Ohio State won the inaugural College Football Playoff national championship in 2014 and it has won two Big Ten titles plus a Sugar Bowl and a Fiesta Bowl, in addition to the Cotton Bowl title to cap 2017.







Ohio State 2018 Spring Game set for April 14

Ohio Stadium empty (2007 photo by Skorry, via wikipedia commons)


Football fans who follow the Ohio State football program have been waiting for this announcement since the Cotton Bowl win over Southern California. The date of the Annual Spring Game.

The annual scrimmage will take place at Ohio Stadium around 1:45pm on April 14. Ohio State Lacross will also play Michigan at 11am in Ohio Stadium.

Ticketing details have not yet been released.

This year’s spring game will be centered around the quarterback position as J.T. Barrett has graduated. The battle will be between sophomore Dwayne Haskins who is clearly the front-runner and redshirt freshman Tate Martell who is equally capable of leading the Buckeyes on offense.


Ryan Day bypasses NFL offers; gets promoted to Offensive Coordinator at Ohio State

Ryan Day

2017 saw Buckeyes lead the Big Ten in passing, total offense and points per game


Jan. 23, 2018


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ryan Day, the second-year Ohio State quarterbacks coach who also was co-offensive coordinator this past season, has been promoted to offensive coordinator by Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. Day will continue to coach the Ohio State quarterbacks and work with Kevin Wilson to lead the Ohio State offense with additional adjustments to his responsibilities forthcoming.

“Ryan is clearly a very talented coach who has been an outstanding addition to our program,” Meyer said. “He has been approached by other schools numerous times this off-season for coordinator and head coach opportunities, and by the National Football League for a coordinator opportunity. I am pleased that he has elected to continue to work on this staff and to lead, mentor and coach the terrific young men we have in this program.”

In Day’s first year on staff last year working alongside Kevin Wilson, the two helped the Ohio State offense lead the Big Ten in rushing yards per game (243.2), passing yards (262.8), total offense (506.0) and scoring (41.1). Ohio State’s offense set school single season records for passes attempted (440) and completed (287), and had the second-highest totals for passing yards with 3,679 and touchdown passes with 39.

Additionally, the Buckeyes were seventh nationally in total offense in 2017, 17th in rushing and sixth in scoring.

“Ohio State is an outstanding place to be a coach, and Columbus is a great city for a young family,” Day said. “I really enjoyed my first season with this program and I’m looking forward to the 2018 season and the opportunity to coach a very talented and hungry group of players.”

Day recently completed his 16th season in coaching, a tenure that includes two seasons in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers, respectively. He and his wife, Christina, are the parents of three children; a son, Ryan, Jr., and two daughters: Grace and Ourania.



Ohio State Football adds former Mount Union standout Alex Grinch to football coaching staff

Alex Grinch (courtesy Washington State)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Alex Grinch, defensive coordinator and secondary coach the past three years at Washington State University and a Broyles Award semifinalist this season, has joined the Ohio State football coaching staff. His specific responsibilities will be announced at a later date.

Grinch, who is from Grove City, Ohio, and who is a 2002 graduate of Mount Union, is considered one of the most respected up-and-coming young defensive coaches in college football after turning around a Washington State defense in his three years on staff.

“I am pleased to announce the addition of Alex Grinch to our coaching staff,” Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said. “I am very impressed with his body of work while at Washington State, as many others were, and am happy he chose to come home to Ohio to become a part of our Buckeye coaching staff.”

Grinch, who is 37 and is married to the former Rebecca Blaser, of Alliance, Ohio, turned a Washington State defense that was ranked 97th nationally prior to his arrival into a unit ranked 16th nationally this past season. His 2017 unit, known as the “Speed D,” was seventh nationally in pass efficiency defense, ninth with 28 turnovers forced and it allowed just 11 touchdown passes, fifth-fewest nationally. It also had 103 tackles for loss, the second highest total in Cougar history.

Grinch’s Washington State defensive units improved on scoring defense for three consecutive years and, after having just eight turnovers forced the year before he arrived, followed that up with 24, 23 and 28 the past three seasons.

A full-time collegiate coach for 13 seasons, and for 15 seasons when counting two years as a defensive graduate assistant at Missouri, Grinch has coached the secondary at all four of his previous coaching assignments: Missouri (from 2012-14), Wyoming (2009-11) and New Hampshire (2005-08), in addition to at Washington State.

Grinch, who has been nominated for the Broyles Award as national assistant coach of the year three times, is a winner. Starting with a 54-1 record with three national championships as a player at Mount Union (1998-2001) and including records of 37-14 at New Hampshire, 28-12 at Missouri and 26-13 at Washington State, teams he has been associated with are a combined 176-69.

Grinch is among a trio of Mount Union teammates/classmates making waves in the college football coaching profession. Matt Campbell is head coach at Iowa State and Jason Candle is the head coach at Toledo. Campbell is 46-29 in six seasons as a head coach while Candle is 21-7 through two seasons.

Grinch and his wife are the parents of two children: a son, Tyler, and a daughter, Corbi.




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