[Feldman] Washington State DC Alex Grinch to Ohio State

Submitted by BoFlex on January 4th, 2018 at 5:06 PM

Alex Grinch (37) has been rumored since mid-December by FootballScoop to be going to Ohio State, but it looks like the deal has now been finalized according to ESPN, and Bruce Feldman:

SOURCES: #WAZZU’s Alex Grinch is heading to #OhioState as the Buckeyes new Co-defensive coordinator. He did a phenomenal job in Pullman and the #MountUnion product is now heading home to work for OSU.

— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 4, 2018

On paper, Grinch's Wazzu defense finished with an S&P+ ranking of 23rd in the nation, and 16th in total defense (improvement from 99th in 2014). Seems to be the first DC to successful pair a defense with Mike Leach's Air Raid spread offense. Although, the defense did get mollywhopped by MSU in the Holiday Bowl.

Interested to see how Grinch's "Speed D" concept works in the B1G, or if he'll even be able to fully implement it as a co-DC under Greg Schiano.

Looks like it is officially open season for programs to start poaching 10th assistant coaches.



January 4th, 2018 at 6:17 PM ^

I was thinking last night as I was watching "X Files" and it occurred to me that if there was ever a college football coach that could swing a cameo on an episode of this should, it would probably be Mike Leach because it is the perfect fit and he would be the perfect fringe guy that turned out to be right about the aliens.


January 4th, 2018 at 5:29 PM ^

According to some of the geniuses on this site that never works and pretty much guarantees a bad season..'too many cooks' and all that.

(There's no evidence it doesn't work in reality).


January 4th, 2018 at 6:17 PM ^

What have you done to isolate co-coordinators as the root cause of our bad offense? Maybe it's not the fact you have co-coordinators but perhaps who those co-coordinators are, what their player material is, how their concepts work with the player material and so forth?

As I mentioned in another thread..several of the best offenses in college football have co-coordinators. In fact, Ohio State has offensive co-coordinators *and* an 'assistant head coach for offense'. So there's clear evidence that it's possible to have a great offense with co-coordinators.

On the other hand..hmm has any team ever had a bad offense with just a single coordinator? Tennessee has only Larry Scott as coordinator this year (126th in total offense). Rutgers only had Jerry Kill (129th in total offense). Now to even further specify, h.as Michigan ever had a pretty bad offense with just a single coordinator? Oh right, yeah..who could forget Borges and Nussmeier (who also oversaw the 2017 Florida offense, 124th in total offense).

So it seems you get some really good offenses with co-coordinators and some really bad ones with just one coordinator. In other words, there is no evidence that it does not work.





January 4th, 2018 at 5:32 PM ^

This is a fine hire, but let's not forget everyone assumed Tim Beck going to OSU was going to be terrifying and he sort of flamed out and left for Texas. It's an assistant hire for a guy who has only been a coach for a couple of years. And sharing duties with Greg Schiano is probably not ideal.


January 4th, 2018 at 6:04 PM ^

Unless you mean terrifying in a negative way, I disagree...

Even most Ohio State fans did not love the hire when it happened, but they were willing to give it a chance. Most reporters at the time were saying that Urban's top targets to replace Tom Herman were Boise State's OC Mike Sanford Jr. and Oregon's OC Scott Frost in that order. Mike Sanford Jr. decided to become a sole OC at Notre Dame vs. a co-OC at Ohio State, and Scott Frost was only interested in jumping to a HC position.

After striking out on those two, Ed Warriner offered up his former colleague at Kansas, and newly fired Nebraska OC Tim Beck. Most OSU fans were not impressed with the hire from the start due to Nebraska's lackluster offense, and poor QB development under Beck, but were hopeful that Urban would cover for any of Beck's weaknesses. Plus, for all Beck shortcomings as a coach, he was a hell of a recruiter (and still is at Texas).

Avon Barksdale

January 4th, 2018 at 5:33 PM ^

Ohio State our there bringing in Defensive coordinators to be glorified position coaches and here’s Harbaugh hiring a D-Line coach to coach RB’s (in all likelihood). Love to see it.


January 4th, 2018 at 5:57 PM ^

Historically, Urban has favored using co-coordinators for a while now. At Florida, he had Greg Mattison and Charlie Strong as his co-DCs from 2005-2007. Since Urban has been at Ohio State he has had:

  • 2012-2013: co-OCs Tom Herman/Ed Warriner | co-DCs Luke Fickell/Everett Withers
  • 2014: co-OCs Tom Herman/Ed Warriner | co-DCs Luke Fickell/Chris Ash
  • 2015: co-OCs Ed Warriner/Tim Beck | co-DCs Luke Fickell/Chris Ash
  • 2016: co-OCs Ed Warriner/Tim Beck | co-DCs Luke Fickell/Greg Schiano
  • 2017: co-OCs Kevin Wilson/Ryan Day | DC Greg Schiano

So if anything, this last season was the oddball one with a sole DC in Schiano.Urban has said that he prefers using co-coordinators because he loses asst. coaches at such a fast rate that it is nice to have at least one coordinator stick around for continuity, and to show the next guy the ropes. I think Urban avoids the whole "too many cooks" scenario by establishing clear chain of command with one explict playcaller on each side (i.e. Luke Fickell > Everett Withers, or Kevin Wilson > Ryan Day). I think Urban only steps in as a playcaller when needed/when there is a lot of disagreement, and someone needs to make a final call.

Mr. Owl

January 4th, 2018 at 5:55 PM ^

Something tells me they will get guys that are very highly rated who get all-everything while playing well, but yet not learning much & then struggling after getting picked high in the draft.



January 4th, 2018 at 6:04 PM ^

Not saying there haven't been SOME busts in the NFL for Ohio State, but they did just have 5 guys make the 2016 NFL All-Rookie team including the reigning Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year in Bosa and Elliott. Plus on the Saints, Marshon Lattimore is the leading candidate for DRotY this season and Michael Thomas just became their single season leader in receptions. Also, Taylor Decker has been a pretty solid LT for the Lions when he has been healthy.


January 4th, 2018 at 6:08 PM ^

Washington State had the #13 defense before their Bowl game while in the offense heavy PAC 12. Their defense had shut down corners and flew to the ball. Weird hire for them, but not a bad one.


January 4th, 2018 at 6:41 PM ^

Dantonio made a meal out of the WSU defense, it was just one game and the WSU offense didn't hold up its end either but their performance against MSU bodes well for pro-style offenses against OSU in my opinion. 


January 4th, 2018 at 8:52 PM ^

Grinch is from my hometown Grove City, OH. Went to school with him back in the day. Been following his career and he's done really well at each stop. Hope he crashes and burns at o. state, but then recovers somewhere else.


January 4th, 2018 at 9:29 PM ^

are not going to be around too long; they'll move on to HC opportunities somewhere. I wonder if Grinch would be groomed to take over for Meyer...

Mpfnfu Ford

January 5th, 2018 at 10:11 AM ^

Say now? Apparently the guy Tennessee fans were absolute fools for not wanting needs a better coordinator to come in and do his job for him so they don't give up 50 billion points to Iowa, huh?