Ohio State coach Urban Meyer officially named Tony Alford the Buckeyes’ new running backs coach via a Tuesday press release.
Alford, a former Notre Dame assistant, joins the OSU stuff after former running backs coach Stan Drayton chose to move on to the NFL last Thursday. Alford’s official title will be assistant head coach for for offense/running backs, the release said.
“I’ve known Tony Alford for a long time and I am very pleased to be adding him to our staff,” Meyer said in the release. “He is an exceptional person and coach who is going to work really well with our staff and who will be an outstanding mentor and teacher for this football program.”
Alford was a senior running back at Colorado State when Meyer was an assistant coach in 1990. Alford also coached with current OSU offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Ed Warinner and tight ends coach Tim Hinton at Notre Dame in 2010 and 2011. He also coached with Buckeye co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash for five years at Iowa State.
“I am excited for a number of reasons,” Alford said in the release. “I am looking forward to working for Coach Meyer, someone I’ve known for a long time. I know his family. And I know his coaches. I’ve worked directly with three of them and I’ve recruited against all of them.”
Alford, an Akron, Ohio, native, previously coached at both Mount Union and Kent State in northern Ohio after completing his professional career with the Denver Broncos and Birmingham Fire.
Drayton left the Buckeyes just a day after OSU secured a commitment from Detroit Cass Tech High School running back Mike Weber. On Monday, Weber tweeted his excitement to work with Alford.
— Mike Weber (@mikeweber25) February 10, 2015
OSU junior running back Ezekiel Elliott also tweeted that he was looking forward to working with Alford when his hire was initially reported on Saturday.
I'm happy we hired a coach that I was already familiar with from recruiting.
— EzekielElliott#⃣1⃣5⃣ (@EzekielElliott) February 7, 2015
The Buckeyes are scheduled to open their 2015 season against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7 in Blacksburg, Va.