As first reported by Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel and subsequently confirmed by BuckeyesNow, Ohio State is set to hire Cincinnati cornerbacks coach Perry Eliano as its new safeties coach.
The Bearcats had one of the nation’s best pass defenses under Eliano’s direction, finishing this past season No. 1 in passing efficiency (100.5), No. 2 in passing yards allowed (168.3), No. 3 in interceptions (18) and No. 4 in opponent completion percentage.
He notably coached 2021 Jim Thorpe Award winner Coby Bryant – the younger brother of former Buckeyes safety Christian Bryant (2010-13) – and cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, who was a consensus All-American and the AAC Defensive Player of the Year.
The 43-year-old Eliano is from Killeen, Texas, and played defensive back at Stephen F. Austin. He’s spent the last 21 seasons as a coach, including stints at his alma mater, Central Arkansas, Sam Houston, UTSA, Bowling Green and New Mexico.
Eliano will replace former secondary coach and defensive play caller Matt Barnes, who was named the defensive coordinator at Memphis earlier this month. He'll also become the third coach to join the staff this offseason, including defensive coordinator Jim Knowles (Oklahoma State) and offensive line coach Justin Frye (UCLA).
Eliano's arrival means that former defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs will not remain on the staff. It also won't be the last move head coach Ryan Day makes as linebackers coach Al Washington is not expected back, either.
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