As first reported by Pete Thamel at Sports Illustrated, Ohio State has hired Arkansas Defensive Coordinator Chris Ash and has finalized the deal for former Penn State Defensive Line Coach Larry Johnson, Sr. for the same position with the Buckeyes.
Ash followed Beilema from Wisconsin to Arkansas and brings a much needed experience in coaching secondaries, a group that Ohio State had several troubles with over the past couple of seasons. The issues finally came to a head in the final two games of the season against Michigan State and Clemson where the secondary couldn’t stop a thing. The hiring of Ash is a direct response to those woes.
If there was anyone in the country that could have made up for the departure of Mike Vrabel to the Houston Texans, it was Johnson Sr. They swap out one very effective DL coach for another, and retain the recruiting impact. LJS is at least as good of a recruiter as Vrabel was and is considered by most in the coaching industry as being high level instructor of defensive lineman.
For now, that means that the Ohio State coaching staff is set. Barring any other departures, this is the staff that Meyer will bring into the 2014 season.