Ohio State Football News: WR coach Brian Hartline Promoted to Passing Game Coordinator

Brian Hartline

Ohio State and NFL alum is entering his fifth-season on the coaching staff

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Brian Hartline has earned a promotion. The Ohio State wide receivers coach, who has recruited and mentored some of the best wide receivers in the nation during his four years as the program’s wide receivers coach, will have increased responsibility with the offensive game plan going forward as he has been promoted to passing game coordinator by head coach Ryan Day.

The promotion comes as no surprise and his resume is indicative of this. Hartline has been a rising star among college coaches since becoming a full-time staff member in 2018 after one season as an offensive analyst. He was a standout receiver for Ohio State from 2005-08, graduated in 2009 and spent seven seasons in the National Football League, six of them with the Miami Dolphins and one as a Cleveland Brown. He played in 104 NFL games with 73 starts and produced 344 career receptions for 4,766 yards and 14 touchdowns.

“Brian is a dedicated Ohio State Buckeye,” Day said. “He is the top wide receiver’s coach in college football and he has continued to develop as an offensive coach to the point where we want him to have more of an impact on our offensive game plan. His taking over as passing game coordinator will allow for this.”

Just last week Hartline was named the FootballScoop wide receivers coach of the year, an honor voted on by former recipients of the award. In 2019 he was honored by the American Football Coaches Association as one of its AFCA 35 Under 35 honorees, a prestigious program that develops “premier, future leaders” in the coaching profession.

Hartline’s wide receiver’s unit was spectacular in 2021 with three All-Americans. Senior Chris Olave and junior Garrett Wilson were each first-team All-Americans, the fourth and fifth wide receivers in school history to be so named, and sophomore Jackson Smith-Njigba was a second-team All-American.

Smith-Njigba set Ohio State game and single season records for receptions (15 vs. Nebraska and Utah; and 96 for the season) and receiving yards (an all-time bowl record 347 yards vs. Utah; and 1,606 for the season). Olave set the Ohio State career record with 35 touchdown receptions and capped his career with 65 receptions for 936 yards and 13 touchdowns. Wilson had 70 catches this season for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Remarkably, Smith-Njigba, Wilson and Olave all finished in the Ohio State single season Top 10s for receptions and yards.

And when Olave and Wilson each opted-out of playing in the Rose Bowl game to begin preparation for the NFL Combine, freshmen Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, and sophomore Julian Fleming, stepped up and combined for 14 receptions for 152 yards and three touchdowns, all of them to Harrison Jr., in the win over Utah. 

Hartline, who is 35 and is from North Canton, Ohio, has been a part of eight Big Ten championship teams with Ohio State: four as a player and four as a coach.

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