Joe Podelco / Lantern photographer
Ohio State head football coach Luke Fickell announced several position changes in the coaching staff Thursday, including the promotion of safeties coach Paul Haynes to co-defensive coordinator.
Haynes, entering his seventh season coaching at OSU and 16th coaching season overall, will join incumbent defensive coordinator Jim Heacock.
“Paul Haynes is an exceptional coach who has worked extremely hard for this football program,” Fickell said in a press release. “He deserves to take on a greater role with our defense alongside coordinator Jim Heacock.”
Haynes spent one year as a quality control coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as assistant head coach at his alma mater Kent State in 1999 and 2000.
“I am honored that Luke has put me into this position,” Haynes said in the press release. “It really shows the trust he has in me. We’ve done so much together as a defensive staff and we work well together as a staff. I don’t see anything changing in that regard, and with coach Vrabel joining our staff, I’m really looking forward to the start of this season.”
In another move, Fickell added special teams coordinator responsibilities to running backs coach Dick Tressel.
“I felt it was important to get Doc [Tressel] more involved in all aspects of our special teams. He has so much experience, and he brings so much knowledge to the field every day, that I really wanted him to be responsible for coordinating our special teams efforts,” Fickell said in the release.
Tressel is entering his eighth season at OSU and has 35 overall collegiate seasons.
“I’ve been coaching for a long time and every season is exciting,” Tressel said. “But getting more and more involved in special teams makes the excitement for this season even greater. We won’t change the responsibilities that each coach has had, other than I’ll take over the punt unit from Luke, but there will be an added level of attention and emphasis from me in all areas.”
Ohio State will open its first season under Fickell at Ohio Stadium on Sept. 3 against the Akron Zips.