(Left) Courtesy of Notre Dame Athletic Department, (Right) Brittany Schock / Asst. photo editor
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer didn’t have to wait long for an answer after asking Tim Hinton to serve as tight ends and fullbacks coach for the Buckeyes.
“It was about 10 o’clock on a Friday (when Meyer) asked me to be part of the staff, and I can tell you by 10:01 I’d said yes,” Hinton said on Jan. 12 at an introductory press conference for the assistant coaching staff.
Hinton, entering his 31st year of coaching and 17th at the collegiate level, joins the staff after coaching running backs at Notre Dame for the past two seasons. He and Meyer met and coached the Buckeyes together as graduate assistants in 1986, and Hinton received his master’s degree from OSU in 1987.
Meyer said Hinton’s coaching resume within Ohio, which includes five state playoff berths in 11 years as coach of Harding High School in Marion, Ohio, as one of the primary reasons for his hiring.
“(Hinton) and I worked together on the Ohio State staff in 1986, but what I am most impressed with is his time spent as a high school coach in Ohio,” Meyer said. “He had some outstanding teams at Harding and his extensive experiences coaching in the state were crucial in my desire to want him on our staff.”
Hinton, who admits to being “a high school coach who coaches college football,” said the many relationships he has developed with Ohio high school coaches over the years can be helpful to OSU’s recruiting.
“I’m one of those guys, so I’m kind of the alumni,” he said. “There are some great high school coaches in the state of Ohio and we’ve got to foster those relationships and continue to have great relationships with those coaches.
“My wife (Bev), when she goes with me (to coaching clinics) says ‘Is there anyone that you don’t know?’ So I think that’s where it helps. There’s a personal connection and a personal relationship … I think having those great relationships with those coaches and knowing them on a personal basis, not just a professional basis, helps.”
This will be the first time Hinton has coached tight ends since he served as the wide receivers and tight ends coach at Wilmington College from 1982-84.
During the years of former OSU coach Jim Tressel, the tight end position was sometimes lost in the shuffle in the run-oriented “Tressel ball” offense. As Meyer brings his version of the spread offense to Ohio Stadium, it might seem that tight ends will continue to be overlooked, this time in lieu of multiple wide receivers and shifty running backs.
Hinton said he isn’t buying that notion, and that the tight end position can have success in Meyer’s offense.
New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez is perhaps the best example of how a tight end can succeed in Meyer’s spread offense. Hernandez tallied 111 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns under Meyer at Florida from 2007-09.
Hinton said regardless of position, talented players will see the field and that the spread offense’s versatility offers a role for everyone.
“The good players are always going to find an opportunity to get on the field,” Hinton said. “I’ve been in the spread offense for the last five years and you can utilize people in many different ways … there’s just a thousand ways to utilize your personnel and I think that’s one of the great things that the spread can bring you.”
Read The Lantern on Tuesday for the next profile in the “Meyer’s New Men” coaching staff profile series.