Ohio State cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator Kerry Coombs reportedly will join new Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell on the Bearcats’ staff.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer will be working on filling out next season’s staff following the College Football Playoff.
Meyer lost two assistant coaches Saturday, as co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell was named Cincinnati’s new head coach, while cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator Kerry Coombs followed Fickell to be the Bearcats’ associate head coach and defensive coordinator, according to reports.
Coombs has spent the past five years coaching cornerbacks under Meyer, and three years ago added the special teams title. The move to Cincinnati also brings Coombs back to very familiar place.
The 34-year coaching veteran went 161-34 with 10 playoff appearances, seven unbeaten regular seasons and a state championship in 2004 in 16 years as head coach of Colerain High School in suburban Cincinnati.
Former Bearcats coach Brian Kelly – now the head coach at Notre Dame – hired Coombs to join his staff in 2007. Coombs eventually was promoted to associate head coach while serving as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator through 2011. Meyer hired Coombs prior to the 2012 season.
Some in the Cincinnati area thought Coombs might’ve been considered for the Bearcats’ head coaching job, but that never seemed to be a serious possibility. Instead, he’ll be Fickell’s go-to man while earning a promotion of sorts to run his own defense for the first time.
Now Meyer is in the tough position of having to replace two of his top assistants. Co-defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, who has head coaching experience at Rutgers and in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also has drawn some interest from other schools about leading their programs, but nothing appears imminent.
UPDATE: Meyer and Coombs confirmed later Saturday that Coombs will be staying with Ohio State in an expanded role rather than joining Fickell at Cincinnati.