Ohio State

Ohio State set to hire former assistant Taver Johnson as secondary coach

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Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Multiple reports say Ohio State will be hiring former Buckeyes assistant Taver Johnson to take over as secondary coach. He would replace Kerry Coombs, who took an assistant’s job with the Tennessee Titans.

Johnson, 45, spent the 2017 season as Temple’s defensive coordinator and had received a promotion to assistant head coach last month. Johnson already has been removed from Temple’s list of coaches on the school’s website.

During his prior tenure as cornerbacks coach at Ohio State (2007-11), the Buckeyes had four first-team All-Big Ten defensive backs as well as two All-Americans in Malcolm Jenkins (2008) and Chimdi Chekwa (2010).

Johnson, a Cincinnati native, is a former All-American linebacker at Wittenberg. He spent one year on the same staff as Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer, at Notre Dame in 1999, when Johnson was a graduate assistant and Meyer was the Fighting Irish wide receivers coach.

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From there Johnson went to the Miami Redhawks, and in 2004 was a special teams assistant with the Cleveland Browns before returning to Miami. That is where he was working when Jim Tressel hired him.

In 2012, Johnson went to Arkansas. He even briefly served as the Razorbacks interim coach, serving as the bridge between Bobby Petrino and John L. Smith. Johnson’s second job in the Big Ten came when he was Purdue’s secondary coach from 2013-16. He then spent the 2017 season at Temple.

(You can follow Lori Schmidt on Twitter @LoriSchmidt)

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