Big 12 News

Oklahoma Hires Alex Grinch from Ohio State as Defensive Coordinator

NCAA Football: Montana State at Washington State

The Oklahoma Sooners made a huge hire on Friday, picking up Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch to become the new defensive coordinator in Norman.

Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman was the first to report the news, as Grinch leaves the Buckeyes after one season. Prior to his time in Columbus, he was the defensive coordinator at Washington State under Mike Leach. Grinch will be the first Ohio State assistant coach to leave the staff after just one season since Ken Conatser spent just one season with the Buckeyes in 2001.

Grinch joined Ohio State’s coaching staff last season as the co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, but with the retirement of head coach Urban Meyer, Grinch apparently became open to other options.

On the field, Grinch didn’t exactly make his mark in one season. The Buckeyes allowed 403.4 yards per game this season – the worst mark in school history, which ranked them just 71st nationally in total defense – and 25.5 points per game, which tied for 50th in the FBS. But in 2017 with Washington State, the Cougars, under Grinch, ranked 8th in FBS with 2.2 turnovers per game and was 9th in the FBS allowing 170 passing yards per game. At 39 years old, he is considered a rising start in the industry.

Grinch now has the toughest test of his career, with the most pressure, as the Oklahoma defense ranked 114th in total defense (453.8 yards allowed per game) and 101st in scoring defense (33.3 points allowed per game) and was one of the worst red-zone teams in the country. Grinch will replace Mike Stoops who was fired in the middle of the season after the Sooenrs lost to their rival Longhorns in October.

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