There has been a recent influx of former Ohio State football players who have entered the coaching ranks over the past several years. Currently on Ryan Day’s coaching staff, there is offensive coordinator Brian Hartline, linebackers coach James Laurinaitis, and cornerbacks coach Tim Walton.
Several former Buckeyes are coaching in the NFL, such as Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel and Tampa Bay Defensive Line Coach Pepper Johnson. There are even some former Buckeyes who are leading high school programs such as Joe Germaine out in Arizona, as well as Stanley Jackson and Chase Farris in Ohio.
I have based my rankings on several factors including, how long and successful they have been at their current school and at what level they have reached within their profession. I also looked at how likely it would be for them to become the next head coach for the Ohio State football team if needed.
And finally, what their reputation within the coaching community is among other coaches. That being said, I know that this is a completely subjective list and I fully expect to have people disagree with me, but in the end, that’s what makes lists like these fun. We recently covered this topic on The OHIO Podcast, which you can watch in the YouTube clip provided.
Number Five: Tennessee State Head Coach Eddie George
George had one of the greatest playing careers of all the coaches on this list. Being a great player doesn’t automatically mean you are going to be a great coach. It may open doors within the coaching community for you, such as the opportunity George received to coach with the Tennessee Titans last month as a part of the NFL. George is in his third season with the Tigers
After winning the Heisman Trophy and breaking the majority of single-game and single-season rushing records at Ohio State during his four-year career, George went on to have a great nine-season career in the NFL, with the majority of that time having been spent in Tennessee with the Titans organization. George made a nice home for himself in Tennessee and although he would frequently visit Columbus, especially after opening his restaurant near campus, his roots remained in Tennessee.
If George was going to make a transition to the coaching ranks, Tennessee State University made perfect sense. The Tigers have gone 9-13 under George’s leadership, but the overall record doesn’t show the impact he has made with the program. The Tigers were a combined 9-19 the three previous seasons before George arrived and are now competitive with the best in their division.