Ohio State has a long history of producing future coaching stars

The University of Cincinnati is among several schools whose search for a new head coach could end with a member of Urban Meyer’s staff.

Not only has hiring an Ohio State assistant has worked for the Bearcats before (see Mark Dantonio), it has proven to be a great move for numerous other schools.

It’s hard to narrow down the best ones, but here’s a super six to get you started:

Sid Gillman

The father of the modern passing game, Gillman played for Ohio State before serving as an assistant at his alma mater under offensive mastermind/crazy person Francis Schmidt in the 1930s.

After serving as head coach at Miami and Cincinnati, he jumped to the NFL, where he coached the Rams, Chargers and Oilers.

Regarded as one of the game’s greatest innovators, Gillman is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the college football version.

Bo Schembechler 



The guy who came to signify the “Michigan Man” was born in Barberton, Ohio, played at Miami University and got his start in coaching at Ohio State. He was part of Woody Hayes’ staff when the Buckeyes won a share of the national championship in 1961.

He went to Michigan in 1969 and revived a Wolverines program that had fallen on hard times in the ‘’60s, starting with the biggest upset in the history of The Game, a 24-12 shocker that denied Ohio State a second straight national championship game in ’69 and kicked off the Ten-Year War.

Lou Holtz

An East Liverpool, Ohio, graduate, Holtz was an assistant coach at Ohio State when the “Super Sophs” won the 1968 national championship.

He left to become head coach at William & Mary the following season and later won a national championship at Notre Dame in 1988.

The Fighting Irish have never quite been the same since he left after the 1996 season.

Nick Saban

Before putting together one of the most successful head coaching careers in college football history, Nick Saban was a failed Ohio State assistant.

He was among a trio of assistants Earle Bruce fired after a 1981 season in which the Buckeyes allowed the most passing yards per game in school history (Saban was the coach of the secondary).

But things ultimately worked out OK for the Fairmont, W.V., native, who has won four national championships as the head coach at Alabama after winning one at LSU.

He’s gunning for another in January.

Jim Tressel



First full-time assistant job for “The Vest” was at Miami University.

He coached under Earle Bruce at Ohio State from 1983-85 before going to Youngstown State as head coach.

Tressel won multiple national titles there before returning to Columbus, where he beat Michigan nine out of 10 times and won the 2002 national championship.

Pete Carroll

As with Saban, Carroll’s time in Columbus is mostly a footnote, but the California native has looked back fondly on it during past interviews.

He was part of Bruce’s staff when the Buckeyes just missed winning it all in 1979 then became defensive coordinator at North Carolina State.

Carroll later won two national championships at USC before building the Seahawks into a Super Bowl winner.

Other past assistants of note: Bill Arnsparger, Gary Blackney, Earle Bruce, Dom Capers, Larry Coker, Mark Dantonio, Rudy Hubbard, Tom Herman, Bill Mallory, Glen Mason, Doyt Perry, Lovie Smith.

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