Sources have confirmed to the Columbus Dispatch on Sunday that rumors about Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Mike Vrabel joining the Ohio State staff as a position coach were true, officially ending Vrabel’s 14-year career.
Vrabel will be joining his alma mater as a linebacker coach, returning to the place where he became a two-time All-American before leaving for a wildly successful NFL career.
This move came after Jim Tressel’s abrupt resignation and former linebackers coach Luke Fickell’s promotion to head coach.
Since his time at Ohio State, Vrabel has become one of the best linebackers in football, being named to the Sports Illustrated All-Decade team after winning three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots.
He has spent the last two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs as a veteran presence on their defense.
Vrabel’s retirement was not unexpected but does leave the Chiefs in a bind. While Kansas City had been searching for a successor for the former Pro Bowler, he was still listed as the team’s starting linebacker until the retirement. Candidates for the job include rookies Justin Houston and Gabe Miller.
The whirlwind of coaching changes was set into motion after six players were suspended, leading to the Tressel’s resignation. The accusation caused Ohio State to set into place a set of self-imposed regulations including two years of probation and the vacation of all wins from the 2010 season.
Much like his alma mater, Vrabel has had his share of troubles this year, being charged with a class D felony after an incident of theft involving eight bottles of beer at a deli in an Indiana casino.
While the future of Ohio State and Vrabel’s legal scrap remains in the balance, fans can count on Vrabel’s knowledge to lift the school’s linebacker corps and help Fickell’s squad overcome their recent troubles.