Former Ohio State linebacker Anthony Schlegel returned to the football team as an assistant strength and conditioning coach Monday, team spokeswoman Shelly Poe said.
Schlegel is replacing Doug Davis, who left with former OSU assistant head coach and wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell, to be the strength and conditioning coach for Kent State.
By Tuesday afternoon, Schlegel had already worked up a sweat.
Schlegel emerged from the weight room, dripping with perspiration, to address members of the media in the lobby of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Tuesday. The former Buckeye letter winner (2004, 2005) and NFL product spoke about joining head coach Jim Tressel’s staff.
“I knew everybody up there, so I was like, ‘I’m gonna call them up and tell them I’m interested in this opportunity, and I would love to come back and be a part of this program,'” Schlegel said. “I’m truly excited.”
Marcus Freeman was Schlegel’s teammate and fellow linebacker during OSU’s 2004 and 2005 seasons. Freeman, who was a graduate assistant with OSU the last two years before accepting a job as Kent State’s linebackers coach in December, expressed satisfaction in seeing Schlegel return to assist the OSU football team.
“Schlegel was the ultimate teammate,” Freeman told The Lantern on Monday. “He really appreciated being a Buckeye; he was always excited. I’m sure he’s going to be a great teacher.”
Freeman also thinks Schlegel is a perfect fit for the overlooked but significant role of strength coach.
“A lot of people don’t realize that during the offseason, players spend the majority of their time in the gym,” Freeman said. “Schlegel is going to spend more time with those guys than any other coach. He is a motivator, and he will help the kids perform.”
Despite his prolonged absence from campus, Schlegel hasn’t forgotten his OSU roots. He referenced former coach Woody Hayes’ famous, “You win with people,” mantra while explaining his reasoning for returning to Columbus.
“Woody always said that you win with people,” Schlegel said. “You want to be with people that have your same values. That’s why this program wins all the time, because they win with people.”