From head coach Ryan Day to renowned positional coaches that have produced elite college football talent, the Ohio State Buckeyes coaching staff features some of the biggest and brightest names in the sport.
Ohio State Buckeyes Coaching Staff
Head Coach, Ryan Day
Taking over the reins as the Buckeyes’ head coach following Urban Meyer’s retirement at the end of 2018, Day quickly established himself as a head coaching force in college football. In his first full season in charge, he became the first Ohio State head coach to be named Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year in 40 years.
Additionally, he’s the first Ohio State HC to win consecutive Big Ten championships in his first two seasons. While compiling a remarkable 45-6 record in his tenure so far, Day has led the Buckeyes into the College Football Playoff three times in his four full seasons at the helm.
Day joined Ohio State’s coaching staff in 2017 as a co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Under his stewardship, J.T. Barrett was named the Big Ten Quarterback of the Year. Dwayne Haskins repeated that award in 2018, while adding Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and Heisman Trophy finalist to his résumé.
Day’s coaching background is exclusively on the offensive side of the ball. A former quarterback at New Hampshire under Chip Kelly, Day coached tight ends there in 2002 before stints at Boston College (general assistant, 2003-2004; WRs coach, 2007-2011; OC/QBs coach, 2013-2014), Florida (GA), Temple (WRs coach, 2006; OC/WRs coach, 2012), and two years in the NFL coaching quarterbacks.
Offensive Coordinator, Brian Hartline
Following a standout career at Ohio State and in the NFL, Brian Hartline returned home to join the Ohio State coaching staff in 2017. During that time, he’s established himself as one of the great wide receiver coaches in the nation, while steadily working his way up the Buckeyes’ coaching hierarchy.
As a result of his success, Hartline will begin the 2023 season as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator and remain the Buckeyes’ WRs coach. The former pass catcher has been named the National Wide Receiver Coach of the Year by multiple media outlets during the last two seasons.
Hartline’s ability as a WRs coach is evidenced by the laundry list of top-tier pass catchers that the program has produced during his tenure. Furthermore, the Buckeyes’ ability to dominate WR recruiting is a testament to their wide receivers coach. Hartline’s full coaching résumé can be found below.
- Ohio State (quality control – wide receivers, 2017)
- Ohio State (interim WRs coach, 2018)
- Ohio State (WRs coach 2019-2021)
- Ohio State (passing game coordinator, WRs coach, 2022)
- Ohio State (offensive coordinator, WRs coach, 2023)
Defensive Coordinator, Jim Knowles
A highly-experienced defensive coach who rose to prominence following success at Oklahoma State, Jim Knowles joined Ohio State as defensive coordinator for the 2022 campaign. The Buckeyes saw an immediate return on investment, improving significantly on a unit that had ranked in the bottom half of the Big Ten in 2021.
Knowles led a similar renaissance at Oklahoma State. Under his stewardship in 2020, the Cowboys led the nation in third-down defense and registered in the top 25 nationally across several defensive metrics. Knowles’ efforts during his final season in Stillwater led him to become a semifinalist for the Broyles Award.
The 2023 college football season will be Knowles’ 36th season as a coach, and his second on the Ohio State staff. A student at Cornell University, the defensive mastermind earned his first role with the program the year after graduating. His full coaching résumé can be found below.
- Cornell (DL coach, 1988; RBs coach, 1989-1994; LBs coach, 1995-1996)
- Western Michigan (DL coach, 1997-2000; DC 2001-2002)
- Ole Miss (LBs coach, 2003)
- Cornell (head coach, 2004-2009)
- Duke (safeties coach, 2010; DC/LBs coach, 2011-2017)
- Oklahoma State (DC/LBs coach, 2018-2021)
- Ohio State (DC/LBs coach, 2022-present)
Running Backs Coach, Tony Alford
A standout running back at Colorado State in the late 1980s, Tony Alford joined the Ohio State coaching staff as the RBs coach/assistant head coach in 2015. Prior to joining the Buckeyes, Alford coached running backs at Notre Dame, Louisville, Washington, Iowa State, Kent State, and Mount Union while also working with wide receivers at the Fighting Irish.
Offensive Line Coach, Justin Frye
A former offensive lineman at Big Ten rival Indiana, Justin Frye joined the Ohio State coaching staff in 2022 after four years as the OL coach at UCLA. Beginning his coaching career at his alma mater as a graduate assistant, Frye took on the same role at Florida before his first OL role at Temple. He was also the OL coach/run-game coordinator at Boston College from 2013-2017.
Cornerbacks Coach, Tim Walton
Long-time NFL coach Tim Walton joined Ohio State’s staff in 2022, taking on the role of secondary and cornerbacks coach. Walton coached in the NFL between 2009 and 2021, working for the Detroit Lions, St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, and Jacksonville Jaguars. He also has extensive college experience, starting his career in 1995 with Bowling Green.
Safeties Coach, Perry Eliano
After coaching the nation’s best defense in 2021 at Cincinnati, Perry Eliano was a significant addition to the Ohio State coaching staff in 2022. The high-regarded safeties coach has spent time coaching the secondary at Sam Houston, Central Arkansas, UTSA, and New Mexico — serving as Lobos’ interim head coach in 2019. Eliano was also the defensive coordinator at Bowling Green.
Defensive Line Coach, Larry Johnson
A high school head coach between 1975 and 1993, Larry Johnson is one of the most experienced members of Ohio State’s coaching staff. Since coming from Penn State in 2014, Johnson’s established himself as one of the best DL coaches in the business — coaching multiple first-round draft picks and defensive linemen of the year — including Chase Young.
Quarterbacks Coach, Corey Dennis
After graduating from Georgia Tech in 2014, Corey Dennis joined the Ohio State staff as an offensive intern in 2015. Working his way up as a graduate assistant and senior offensive quality controller, Day appointed Dennis as the quarterbacks coach in 2020. In addition to his on-field work with the Buckeyes’ QBs, Dennis is credited with Ohio State QB recruiting success.
Special Teams Coordinator, Parker Fleming
Parker Fleming began his coaching career as a graduate assistant on the 2012 Ohio State coaching staff. After stints at James Madison (WRs coach) and Texas State (QB, WR, and special teams coach), Fleming returned to Ohio State in 2018 as special teams quality control. He assumed coordinator responsibilities for the Buckeyes’ special-teams unit in 2021.
Tight Ends Coach, Keenan Bailey
2023 will be the first year as tight ends coach for Keenan Bailey, but the former Notre Dame recruiting analyst has made his presence on Ohio State’s coaching staff felt since arriving in Columbus in 2016. Bailey has worked with the Buckeyes’ RBs, WRs, and QBs, previously as a quality control coach before a promotion to senior advisor to the head coach in February 2022.