Ohio State co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash is finalizing details to be Rutgers’s new head coach, according to a source.
Ash has coached the Buckeyes’ defense for the past two seasons, including last year’s national championship squad. Ohio State ranks second in the nation in scoring defense (14.0 points per game) this year and 10th in the nation in total defense (303.5 yards allowed per game). That shutdown unit held all but three opponents to less than 20 points and helped the Buckeyes go 11–1 this season.
It marked a significant improvement even on last year’s championship-caliber defense, which allowed 22.0 points and 342.0 yards per game.
Prior to Ohio State, Ash served as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Arkansas in 2013 after spending two years in the same role at Wisconsin. He got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Drake in 1997 and served as the Bulldogs' defensive coordinator for two seasons after that. Ash then spent two years as a graduate assistant at Iowa State and then took over as defensive backs coach for the Cyclones from ’02-05 before adding recruiting coordinator duties in ’06. He moved to San Diego State as defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator from ’07–08 before returning to Iowa State in the same capacity in ’09. Ash coached defensive backs at Wisconsin in ’10 before his promotion to defensive coordinator the next season.
He replaces Kyle Flood at Rutgers, who was fired Sunday after a 4–8 season in which he was suspended for three games due to improperly contacting a professor about a player's grade. Flood had a 27–24 record in four years with the Scarlet Knights, who just finished their second season in the Big Ten.