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.”