Ohio State Football: Hiring of Kerry Coombs Another Brilliant Urban Meyer Move

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2012

Photo via Cincinnati Enquirer
Photo via Cincinnati Enquirer

The Ohio State Buckeyes are still making big-time moves despite the calendar reading March.

Typically a dead period for the sport, new head coach Urban Meyer continues to create buzz around his program. On Thursday he signed former Cincinnati assistant Kerry Coombs to coach the cornerback unit (via ESPN).

Meyer had originally planned on retaining Taver Johnson, but he moved on to Arkansas. Next up was Bill Sheridan, who was hired only to change his mind and take an NFL job instead.

It looks like the third time is the charm.

Coombs had coached DBs at Cincinnati since 2007 and has helped make players like Haruki Nakamura, Mike Mickens, DeAngelo Smith, and Buckeyes transfer Brandon Underwood into NFL draft picks. The Bearcats won the Big East twice and made a BCS bowl in 2010 during his tenure, where his team was promptly trounced by Meyer’s Florida Gators.

That’s all great, but the biggest reason this move makes a ton of sense is the Ohio roots of Coombs.

COLUMBUS, OH - JANUARY 15:  Head football coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes is introduced to the crowd at halftime of the basketball game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Ohio State Buckeyes on January 15, 2012 at Value City Arena in Columb
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Before the Bearcats, Coombs was the head coach at Cincinnati’s Colerain High School for 16 years, winning a state title in 2004. It’s one of the powerhouses in a football-rich region, and Coombs is very well-connected.

Unlike during the end of the Jim Tressel era, the second biggest city in Ohio is going to be a strong pipeline for the Buckeyes with Meyer being an alum of UC and now the addition of Coombs.  Recently the team has relied too heavily on recruits located in the northern part of the state.

Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones told the Cincinnati Enquirer he is “indebted” to Coombs for all of the hospitality he showed him during the rough transition from Brian Kelly to Jones. Kelly thought enough of Coombs to offer him a coaching position at Notre Dame, but he turned it down to stay in Ohio.

Now he’s still in Ohio, wearing just a slightly different shade of red.

Another knock out of the park for a program that is still smiling after they registered a top-10 recruiting class last month.

The Urban Meyer effect sure happens quickly. 

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