Sean Merriman, web editor, December 11, 2015

Chris Ash recently accepted the head coaching job at Rutgers, which left a void in Urban Meyer's coaching staff.

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Now, it looks like that void has been filled.

Former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano will replace Ash and work alongside Luke Fickell coordinating the Ohio State defense, coach Urban Meyer announced today. According to OSU's Athletic Department, Schiano?s hire is pending completion of a background check and approval from the Ohio State University Board of Trustees.

Schiano served as the head coach at Rutgers from 2001-2011 and as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2012-2013.

?Greg Schiano is an excellent coach,? Meyer said. ?He is someone I have known for quite some time now and someone who is going to align with our staff extremely well. I think he will be outstanding as a coach and mentor in our program and I am pleased to have him on our staff.?

Schiano takes over a defense that ranked third in the Big Ten in total defense this season, allowing 303.5 yards per game.

While the Buckeyes' pass defense excelled (11 INT, 176 ypg), the rush defense struggled at times, ranking seventh in the conference after surrendering near 130 rushing yards per contest.

Schiano will give the Buckeyes another recruiting asset with NFL experience under his belt, as well as strong ties on the East Coast, having previously coached at Rutgers and serving as Penn State's defensive backs coach from 1991-1995.

The Buckeyes' new co-defensive coordinator will take over a unit that returns plenty of talent. Several of the Buckeyes' top defensive players (Joey Bosa, Vonn Bell, Tyvis Powell) are juniors, which means there is a good chance a number of them could declare early for the NFL Draft. However, with Raekwon McMillan manning the linebacking corps and Eli Apple the secondary, this defense should be in great hands in 2016.