Land of 10/file photo
Kerry Coombs is an invaluable member of the Ohio State coaching staff.

Ohio State football: Kerry Coombs’ value to Buckeyes can’t be overstated

Austin Ward

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There is no question that Kerry Coombs is somebody who is constantly striving for improvement and even greater accomplishments. At the same time, he’s working in a place that he loves with a ridiculous talent pipeline and an NFL draft streak rolling that would make it hard for him to really entertain the idea of leaving. If Coombs wanted to, there’s no question that numerous programs would give him a shot to take on that primary coordinator role — just for the chance to have him work with the defensive backs alone.

But the flip side of that is Ohio State will do just about anything to keep Coombs. When there was the potential of Luke Fickell potentially knocking on the door for Coombs last year after taking over at Cincinnati, Meyer made sure the cornerbacks coach was awarded with a promotion and a raise to keep him. There is no doubt that Meyer knows how important Coombs has been to his success at Ohio State, from recruiting to development to simply providing energy for the kickoff coverage unit on the sideline.

Jeffrey Okudah-Ohio State-Buckeyes-cornerbacks-Cotton Bowl
Jeffrey Okudah looks to be the next star at cornerback for Kerry Coombs and the Buckeyes. (Land of 10/file photo)

So, this situation for Coombs is perhaps different than it might have been for an Ohio State assistant even just a decade ago. The program is fully committed to hiring the best coaching staff in the nation and making sure they are compensated well enough that there isn’t an incentive to leave. I don’t think Coombs would want to unless it was potentially for a head-coaching job. The Buckeyes already have given him more recognition with that new title, and he has always had plenty of responsibilities when it comes to installing a game plan, so another school really couldn’t offer him more prestige than he’s getting by competing for national titles and cranking out first-round draft picks.

And like Larry Johnson on the defensive line, Ohio State is well aware of what a great thing it has in Coombs. Based on the emergence of Jeffrey Okudah in the Cotton Bowl Classic along with the expected return of Kendall Sheffield and Damon Arnette next season, his unit at cornerback will once again be absolutely loaded.

There’s never any doubt about Coombs when it comes to his excitement level, but he will be fired up to work with those defensive backs this year. Ohio State wouldn’t be the same without him around to do it.

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