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Ohio State Promotes Running Backs Coach Tony Alford To Run Game Coordinator

Alford has produced a 1,000-yard rusher in six of his seven seasons with the Buckeyes.

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day announced on Tuesday morning that Tony Alford has been promoted to run game coordinator in addition to his responsibilities as the program’s assistant head coach for offense and running backs coach.

“Tony has continually mentored and produced tough, reliable and productive running backs for the Buckeyes,” Day said. “He has a terrific understanding of how to get his student-athletes to perform at a high rate of competitiveness, and I’m really pleased to promote him to run game coordinator.”

The 53-year-old Alford has produced a 1,000-yard rusher in six of his seven seasons with the Buckeyes, including Ezekiel Elliott in 2015, Mike Weber in 2016, J.K. Dobbins in 2017-19 and TreVeyon Henderson in 2021. He also helped Trey Sermon break the school record for yards in a single game with 331 in the 2020 Big Ten Championship.

Alford turned down offers last month to take over similar positions at LSU and Notre Dame, where he served as the wide receivers and running backs coach under new Tigers head coach Brian Kelly from 2010-14. It should come as no surprise, though, given his current situation is among the best in the nation with Henderson having a breakout freshman year in 2021.

“I’ve got a great room,” Alford said. “I’ve got great kids that I have so much respect and admiration for. I hope that they believe that I give them as much as they give me. I’m working with the best head coach in all of college football and I’ve got unbelievable kids. Why would I leave?”

In addition to Henderson, the Buckeyes will return redshirt junior Marcus Crowley, redshirt sophomore Miyan Williams, redshirt freshman Evan Pryor next season. They also added Tennessee four-star Dallan Hayden in the current recruiting cycle.

Alford is Ohio State’s second-longest-tenured coach, trailing only associate head coach/defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who has been with the Buckeyes for eight seasons. He’s also the second member of the staff to be promoted this month, joining wide receivers coach and new passing game coordinator Brian Hartline.


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