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Brian Hartline Promoted to Ohio State OC amid Ryan Day Playcalling Rumors

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 13, 2023

EVANSTON, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 05: Wide receiver coach Brian Hartline of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks on against the Northwestern Wildcats during the second half at Ryan Field on November 05, 2022 in Evanston, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Ohio State football head coach Ryan Day announced Friday that wide receivers coach Brian Hartline will add offensive coordinator duties to his responsibilities.

Hartline replaces ex-OC/tight ends coach Kevin Wilson, who left the Buckeyes to become Tulsa's new head coach.

The news comes after ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit reported on the Jan. 2 edition of College GameDay (h/t the Columbus Dispatch's Colin Gay) that Day "mentioned in our production meetings he's going to stop calling plays next year because he needs to become more of a manager as a head coach."

He later rephrased his comments with a less declarative remark about Day's potential decision, saying that "he's thinking about relinquishing those [responsibilities] which would be the first time ever. I don't know who, Brian Hartline, or whoever, would be involved."

We'll see if Hartline becomes the team's new playcaller, but at the least, he's now the team's new offensive coordinator as Ohio State looks to improve upon a 2022 season in which it finished 11-2 and lost a 42-41 heartbreaker to eventual national champion Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinals.

On3 named Hartline as the best position coach in the country in 2022, and it's easy to see why.

Matt Zenitz @mzenitz

Our <a href="https://twitter.com/On3sports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@on3sports</a> national position coach of the year: Ohio State wide receivers coach Brian Hartline <a href="https://t.co/ZmI6adjDQE">https://t.co/ZmI6adjDQE</a> <a href="https://t.co/uCbj9VqhG0">pic.twitter.com/uCbj9VqhG0</a>

Hartline has coached numerous Ohio State players who are excelling in the NFL, including the New York Jets' Garrett Wilson, the New Orleans Saints' Chris Olave, the Washington Commanders' Terry McLaurin and the Indianapolis Colts' Parris Campbell. Olave and Wilson were both first-round picks in last year's draft.

Hartline was tasked with coaching up a new crop of starting wideouts in 2022 after Olave and Wilson left for the NFL and Jaxson Smith-Njigba, who led the team with 95 catches and 1,606 yards in 2021, missed the entire year with hamstring issues.

Ultimately, the new OSU star wide receivers excelled. Marvin Harrison Jr. led the way with 77 catches, 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns, and Emeka Egbuka posted a 74/1,151/10 stat line. Julian Fleming also fared well as the No. 3 wideout with 34 receptions, 533 yards and six touchdowns.

Day praised his work with the wideouts when announcing the move.

Eleven Warriors @11W

Ryan Day sees a bright future ahead for Ohio State with Brian Hartline as the team's offensive coordinator. <a href="https://t.co/rT9ry0oeSR">pic.twitter.com/rT9ry0oeSR</a>

Hartline played at Ohio State from 2005-08, and the Miami Dolphins selected him with the No. 108 overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft. He stuck with Miami through the 2014 season before ending his career with the 2015 Cleveland Browns. Hartline caught 344 passes for 4,766 yards and 14 touchdowns for his career.

The 36-year-old returned to OSU as the team's offensive quality control assistant in 2017 before earning a promotion to wide receivers coach in 2018.