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Buckeyes lose co-DC to FCS job

Everett Withers

A couple of days worth of speculation involving a member of Urban Meyer‘s coaching staff became official Friday night.

James Madison University announced late yesterday that Everett Withers has been hired as the FCS program’s new head coach.  The longtime assistant will replace Mickey Matthews, who it was announced in late November would not be returning for a 16th season.

“We are so thrilled to welcome Coach Withers and his family to James Madison,” JMU athletic director Jeff Bourne said in a statement. “Everett is a proven winner and has shown his ability to lead, having spent time as a head coach. The entire committee was incredibly impressed when we met with him, and I have no doubt that he will be a great leader for our football program and mentor to our student-athletes for many years to come.”

Withers had spent the past two seasons as co-defensive coordinator/assistant head coach/safeties coach at Ohio State.  The JMU job will be his first as a permanent head coach, although he did serve as interim head coach at North Carolina after Butch Davis was fired shortly before the start of the 2011 season.

A 25-year coaching veteran, Withers has spent 19 of them at the collegiate level.

Everett, who will remain with OSU through the Buckeyes’ Orange Bowl matchup with Clemson, will make $325,000 annually on his five-year JMU contract.  At Ohio State, Withers was paid nearly $600,000 ($580,000) in 2013.

(Photo credit: James Madison athletics)

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14 Responses to “Buckeyes lose co-DC to FCS job”
  1. ray1950 says: Dec 21, 2013 11:25 AM

    I wish him luck but it’s clear that when he graduated from Appalachian State, he didn’t earn a Degree in Economics. The man’s taking a $255,000 pay cut!

  2. 1990tiger says: Dec 21, 2013 11:28 AM

    I am very surprised he would take such a large cut in pay for this position. Who takes more than a 40% reduction in pay to move from an FBS job to a FCS job? There must be much more to this than what is written in the article (maybe he was told he was about to be fired or was extremely unhappy at OSU?)

  3. steeler1nation says: Dec 21, 2013 11:37 AM

    As a Buckeyes fan….all I can say is YESSSS!
    Finally! Was worried they wouldn’t force this guy out in today’s PC world.
    He was a TERRIBLE Safeties/DB coach. Terrible.
    Look at our pass defense the past few years. He’s terrible. Hell, just look at UNC’s defense with the NFL talent they had this decade…massive UNDERachiever. So glad we finally got rid of him.

  4. tommy57 says: Dec 21, 2013 1:34 PM

    Perhaps he’s a man of principle and is unhappy with the current state of FBS football (maintain the funding stream by winning at all cost by recruiting kids who just don’t belong in college). Or perhaps it’s something else.

  5. sportsguy3434 says: Dec 21, 2013 1:52 PM

    Some of you Ohio State fans help us out. There were rumors of defensive staff changes, but was Luke Fickel one on the hot seat even with his longevity at tOSU? Just curious.

    The only case like this I can think of was an bright OC that left a $1.8M OC job to take a HC job at a smaller FBS school for $850k. A year later he took a HC job and after winning the SEC his first year and playing for a NC he is making $3.85M…Malzahn.

  6. BrownsTown says: Dec 21, 2013 2:00 PM

    Nothing worse than Steeler fans that root for the Buckeyes.

  7. totallysirius says: Dec 21, 2013 2:07 PM

    Moving from a supporting coach to head coach is a great career move.

    He’s looking ahead, even though he’s taking a pay cut,if he does a good job he will surely move on to a better paying HC position at a big school.

  8. buryyourduke says: Dec 21, 2013 2:49 PM

    JMU will most likely be moving to FBS in the next couple of seasons anyway. The Sun Belt is dying to have them, but they are more interested in the MAC.

  9. overratedgators says: Dec 21, 2013 4:58 PM

    Two possible explanations for the pay cut:

    (1) he wants to break into head coaching, and you’ve gotta start somewhere. Sometimes to climb the ladder, you’ve got to be willing to deliberately take a step back just to get your foot in the door.

    (2) with Ohio State’s issues on defense, Meyer may have already told him he was out. In other words, this may not be a true pay cut, if it had already been made clear to him that he was soon to be unemployed anyway.

  10. jrs45 says: Dec 21, 2013 4:59 PM

    Amen BrownsTown….Amen!

  11. ohioteamsusuallysuck says: Dec 21, 2013 5:50 PM

    He is betting on himself. After 2 years he will be hired to be a head coach in a major conference for more money than he was getting at osu. Also word in Columbus is that Meyer told the staff if they got offers to take them. ( he would rather them leave then be fired, he thinks it makes it look better)

  12. sportsguy3434 says: Dec 21, 2013 5:53 PM

    Meyer told which staff to take offers? Defense?

  13. charger383 says: Dec 21, 2013 7:24 PM

    Welcome to Harrisonburg, Va.

  14. dkhhuey says: Dec 28, 2013 10:50 AM

    @sportsguy – The defense had issues but a great deal of that can be rooted in our inexperience at the linebacker and DB positions, not to mention and the loss of the DB leader to a year ending injury. That limited the types of defenses you can dial up during the game and made them somewhat easy to exploit with the right offensive schemes.

    Fickell and Vrabel are fierce recruiters, great Buckeye players, and ambassadors to the university… and that is highly valued by Urban… they have some fantastic young up and coming studs that should also help next year!

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