COLUMBUS: Chris Ash wasn’t looking for a new job.
He was happy as the defensive coordinator at Arkansas, eager to help coach Bret Bielema rebuild a Razorbacks program that went winless in Southeastern Conference play in 2013.
So when Urban Meyer called Ash a few weeks ago to ask about his interest in Ohio State’s vacant co-defensive coordinator/safeties job, Ash was surprised and flattered.
“It’s one of the top-five football jobs in the country, in my opinion,” said Ash, whose hiring was officially announced on Thursday.
Ash will be under defensive coordinator Luke Fickell on the organizational chart, but it’s also clear why Ash was hired. Ohio State’s pass defense was often abysmal last season, ranking 110th of 123 teams nationally in passing yardage allowed. The Buckeyes surrendered 1,133 yards and 12 touchdowns through the air in their last three games, which included losses to Michigan State and Clemson.