Dienhart: Ohio State makes solid hire in Chris Ash

Ohio State has officially tabbed Chris Ash as co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach. That’s a nice hire. Ash was defensive coordinator at Arkansas last season under Bret Bielema, for whom Ash worked for as DC at Wisconsin in 2011 and 2012. And Ash’s area of expertise—the secondary—will dovetail well with what has been the biggest weakness on the Buckeye defense.

[ MORE: Read more from Dienhart on Big Ten coaching hires all year long ]

The Buckeyes finished 110th in the nation in passing yards allowed in 2013. In the last two games of last season—losses to Michigan State and Clemson that ended a 24-game winning streak—Ohio State yielded a combined 682 yards passing.

Ash will replace co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers, who left to be head coach of James Madison. Defensive coordinator Luke Fickell remains on the Ohio State staff.

Ash’s hiring means Ohio State’s staff is complete for 2014, as Urban Meyer has also tabbed Larry Johnson from Penn State to coach the defensive line after Mike Vrabel left to coach with the Houston Texans.

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About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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