Ohio State head coach Ryan Day announced on Sunday afternoon that wide receivers coach Brian Hartline has been promoted to passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach.
“Brian is a dedicated Ohio State Buckeye,” Day said in a statement. “He is the top wide receiver’s coach in college football and he has continued to develop as an offensive coach to the point where we want him to have more of an impact on our offensive game plan. His taking over as passing game coordinator will allow for this.”
The 35-year-old Hartline – who hails from North Canton and starred for the Buckeyes from 2005-08 – just finished his fourth season as Ohio State’s wide receivers coach. He was recently named FootballScoop’s wide receivers coach of the year after his unit combined for 267 catches for 3,922 yards and 38 touchdowns this fall.
That includes sophomore Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who set school single-season records with 95 catches for 1,606 yards, as well as senior Chris Olave (65 catches for 936 yards and a team-high 13 touchdowns) and junior Garrett Wilson (70 receptions for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns), who are projected to be first-round picks in April’s NFL Draft.
When Olave and Wilson both opted out of the Rose Bowl to protect their draft status, sophomore Julian Fleming and freshmen Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka stepped up, with Harrison hauling in a career-high six passes for 71 yards and three touchdowns in the 48-45 win over Utah.
In addition to his on-field development, Hartline has also earned a reputation as one of the country’s elite recruiters. He’s signed 12 top-150 wide receivers, including four-star prospects Caleb Burton, Kaleb Brown, Kyion Grayes and Kojo Antwi in the current recruiting cycle.
“Ohio State is my home,” Hartline said during a press conference in November. “I love it here and it’s a passion here. All I care about is this room, and that’s my main focus and my forever focus. I would be lying if I said I was thinking outside of that.
“I’m also not a person to sit here and tell you, ‘No, I’m never leaving Ohio State.’ I’m not saying I ever will. And you say, ‘Go up the ladder.’ Like, go where? This is the pinnacle of the ladder. And the ego, at this point, is pretty minimal. Maybe other people think so, but I don’t need the satisfaction of calling plays or whatever.
“To me, I’m at the pinnacle of the latter, so unless there’s a relationship that I know of somebody at this spot, that’s a big question and hard to answer. All I know is I love Ohio State, my wife is from here, we’ve lived here, love my house. It would be really hard to leave. I don’t think that’s ever really in the books.”
Hartline is Ohio State’s fourth-longest-tenured assistant coach, trailing only associate head coach/defensive line coach Larry Johnson (eight seasons), assistant head coach for offense/running backs coach Tony Alford (seven seasons) and offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Kevin Wilson (five seasons).
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