Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
Ohio State hires Arkansas DC Ash
Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash instructs players prior to an Aug. 31, 2013 game against Louisiana-Lafayette at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Ohio State has hired Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash, according to Sports Illustrated.
Citing sources, Sports Illustrated reports Ash will be the Buckeyes' co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach. Ash spent the 2013 season as the Razorbacks' defensive coordinator after serving in the same role for two years at Wisconsin.
"Have always felt transition on my staff has allowed us to get even better," Bielema said on Twitter. "Have had success hiring right people and will again.
"Very happy for former coaches that decide to move to new challenges. The respect our staff gets nationally will continue to grow."
Ohio State will be Ash's fourth school in six years. He was defensive coordinator at Iowa State in 2009.
Ash is the second Arkansas assistant hired away this off-season. Former defensive line coach Charlie Partridge was hired as head coach at Florida Atlantic in December. Both Partridge and Ash worked for Arkansas coach Bret Bielema at Wisconsin.
Bielema hired Rory Segrest as the Razorbacks' defensive line coach last week to replace Partridge and said last Monday no schools had contacted him to talk to other assistant coaches.
Bielema cited losing assistant coaches to other jobs while at Wisconsin as a primary reason for taking the Arkansas job in December 2012. His staff was paid just more than $3.2 million cumulatively last season, up from a reported $1.8 million cumulative salary at Wisconsin in 2012.
Ash's contract at Arkansas is worth $550,000 per year through 2015. Ohio State will pay a $100,000 buyout to hire Ash, who was the Razorbacks' third defensive coordinator in as many seasons.