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Update: Buckeyes confirm Withers hiring; Vrabel to remain on staff

Everett Withers AP

A couple of weeks worth of speculation and hinting around the hiring has come to fruition, with Urban Meyer filling another hole in his first-ever Ohio State coaching staff.

North Carolina interim head coach Everett Withers confirmed to reporters Wednesday afternoon that he will be leaving the Tar Heels to assume a position with the Buckeyes.  It’s believed Withers will become Meyer’s co-defensive coordinator, sharing that role with OSU interim head coach Luke Fickell — provided he doesn’t land the Pittsburgh head-coaching job, of course.

Ohio State is expected to make an announcement at some point in the near future, perhaps as early as today.

Withers was the coordinator at Minnesota in 2007 before moving on to serve in the same position with Butch Davis from 2008-10.  He took over the head-coaching duties when Davis was fired a month before the start of the 2011 season.

Before heading to Columbus, Withers, who had also been mentioned in connection to the coordinator vacancy at Auburn, will coach the Tar Heels in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl against Missouri next Monday night.

UPDATED 3:36 p.m. ET: In a press release, Ohio State officially announced the hiring of Everett Withers as Urban Meyer‘s co-defensive coordinator/assistant head coach.

“Everett is extremely well respected across the country,” Meyer said in a statement. “I’ve known about him for a number of years and followed his progress as a college and NFL assistant coach. He will be a great fit for this staff and I think he and Luke [Fickell] are going to work well together as the co-coordinators of our defense.”

“I am excited, and I couldn’t be more excited to be on coach Urban Meyer’s staff at The Ohio State University,” Withers said. “Ohio State is obviously one of the storied programs in college athletics. Having an opportunity to work at that university, and as part of Coach Meyer’s staff, is something that you just can’t pass up.”

In addition to Withers’ hiring, OSU also announced that Mike Vrabel has been retained as a defensive assistant.  Vrabel served as linebackers coach in 2011.

“I had heard such great things about Mike Vrabel as a player, but the key thing for me was I wanted to talk football with him,” Meyer said. “I wanted to see him recruit, and I wanted to meet his family. I have since spent a lot of time with him, and he has a wonderful family.

“I also spoke to a number of people I know well, who also know Mike very well, including Bill Belichick. Coach Belichick and I had a really good discussion about Mike. While Mike is young, we both agreed that the unique experiences he has had as a player, coupled with the things he has already accomplished as a coach and recruiter for Ohio State, has prepared Mike for this opportunity. I am very pleased he will be on the staff.”

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7 Responses to “Update: Buckeyes confirm Withers hiring; Vrabel to remain on staff”
  1. thegonz13 says: Dec 21, 2011 2:32 PM

    Ah, yes… good ol’ Advo Nobody Cares Bowl!

  2. florida727 says: Dec 21, 2011 3:03 PM

    Wrong.

    It’s the “AdvoNobodyCares V100 Independence Bowl”.

    Need to get it right, “thegonz13″, for branding purposes. :)

  3. mgscott says: Dec 21, 2011 3:11 PM

    Welcome to The Ohio State University

  4. thefiesty1 says: Dec 21, 2011 3:22 PM

    I thought it was the Poulan Weedeater Independence Bowl. Why don’t we call it by it’s original name instead of whichever idiot company sponsors it? I mean Meineke Car Care, Beef o’Brady — who gives a rats …… ?

    Oh, good for Withers – interim and got them in a bowl, even if no one cares that it’s only the Independence Bowl.

  5. footballfan5255 says: Dec 21, 2011 3:56 PM

    Not an OSU fan but aren’t they backstabbing Fickle?

  6. burntorangehorn says: Dec 21, 2011 5:15 PM

    Footballfan5255, I think Fickell knew exactly what his interim position was: bridging the season between Tressel’s departure and the 2011/2012 coaching carousel season, when they’d have a chance to go through the conventional hiring process. I don’t think he was under any impression that he’d be HC beyond the bowl season, and he’s still going to be the main DC, with Withers the co-DC.

    Good hiring for OSU, by the way. One can only hope that the player discipline is more reflective of Withers than of Meyer, or else the program will be hit harder than ever.

  7. tg1896 says: Dec 21, 2011 5:53 PM

    Withers did an excellent job at UNC as the DC. As a head coach…..not so much.

    I hope he does as well for the Buckeyes.

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