Entering his ninth season as the Ohio State football coach, Jim Tressel is in his 35th overall season and many times has stated when he hits his 40th year he wants to call it quits. As heard on The Big Show on 97.1 The Fan here in Columbus, if that was the case who would you want as the coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes?
With a 70-17 record at Ohio State, Jim Tressel has cemented his place as one of the best coaches in Buckeye history, winning a national championship in 2002, capturing five Big Ten championships and owning a 7-1 record against arch rival Michigan. With a conservative approach, Tressel’s teams have been known for being slow paced, run oriented and Ohio bred. As of late, Tressel has transformed this team into a more athletic, fast paced team that has dominant defense. Keeping the same coordiators on both sides of the ball for the past four seasons, Tressel’s teams have played poorly in big time games and have looked unathletic and slow against the top tier teams from around the country. With a revamped offense and defense coming into 2009, Ohio State has starters from all across America. Starting at LE, Cameron Heyward is a product of Suwanee, Georgia and has started since his freshman year in 2007. At linebacker, the Buckeyes have two starters from South Florida in Brian Rolle and Etienne Sabino. Tressel hopes to play more man defense and pass the ball to the large group of shifty receivers the Buckeyes possess. With such great talent flowing in for Ohio State, if Tressel were to step down, who would you hire?
- Urban Meyer, Head Coach-Florida-Northeast Ohio native, who was once on John Cooper’s staff in the 90’s. Meyer is the head coach at Florida and in five years has won two SEC championships and along with that two BCS National Titles. An innovative coach that gets the best out of his players, Meyer would be a great fit at Ohio State. Meyer has planted deep roots in the hotbed of football, Florida, and if he were to come to Ohio State, would bring much more athleticism to a team that lacked it severly when Meyer and Florida beat up on the Buckeyes 41-14 in 2006. Developing athletic swing players like Percy Harvin, Jeffery Demps and Tim Tebow, Meyer could do the same at Ohio State. If Urban could bring a new approach to Ohio State football with his creative packages, just imagine what the Buckeyes could do.
- Turner Gill, Head Coach- Buffalo-Taking the once winless Buffalo Bulls from cellar dweller to MAC Champs, Gill would bring a hardwork mentality to a Buckeyes team that has had off the field issues lately. Not taking anything from anybody, Gill would bring a hardnosed mentality to Ohio State and teach his players what it is like to win a national title, he won a championship with Nebraska as a player in 1984. Gill is a hungry coach that is still upset over not getting the job at Auburn and would be good for Ohio State considering we already have the talent, a move for Gill could put us over the top.
- Mark Dantonio, Head Coach-Michigan State- Dantonio, who was Jim Tressel’s Defensive Coordinator from 2002-05 at Ohio State, is another of the Tressel tree that continues to coach schools all over the midwest. An aggressive defensive coach who has a run oriented offense, Dantonio has ignored the personnel on defense and has continued to blitz heavily and get pressure on the quarterback while stuffing the run. With a tough defense last season led by DT Justin Kershaw, the Spartans won seven games and made it the Capital One Bowl. After helping bring Cincinnati to where they are today, Dantonio has had a great resume at Michigan State, recruiting Ohio very well and winning games in the Big Ten. With a system related to Tressel’s, the transition would be easy for the players, would it work in big games?
- Kirk Ferentz, Head Coach-Iowa-Going into his ninth season at Iowa, Kirk Ferentz has consistently had teams that know how to play football the right way and compete. Splitting the Big Ten Championship with Ohio State in 2002, Ferentz has known how to recruit and get his players ready to play. With a team that can run the ball very well, Ferentz’s teams have always lacked a quality quarterback and if he landed the job at Ohio State in the near future, it’s more than likely that he would have that for the Buckeyes. Having an above average record at Iowa is impressive, but would Ferentz’s success carry over to Ohio State?
- Jim Heacock, Defensive Coordinator-Ohio State-Heacock has been successful as Jim Tressel’s defensive coordinator the past three seasons but has been cited as play calling too soft in the big games. Heacock is part of the Tressel bunch that has landed jobs all across the midwest. With a 33-6 record as defensive coordinator, it’s more than likely that Heacock would be hired by Tressel, who more than likely would be deeply involved in the hiring process. Tressel has always made sure to keep his coaches occupied, so Heacock could be a viable option. With the big time losses, Heacock hasn’t received any attention for head coaching jobs elsewhere, so why would he work at Ohio State? If Heacock isn’t popular among fans of the Buckeyes, would you want him as your coach?
With all these coaches mentioned, who do you think would be the best fit? Is it the above five or another coach? You tell me, all I know is that Tressel is seriously considering retirement in the next five seasons and with the talent Ohio State continues to reel in, an experienced and innovative coach would work best for the Buckeyes. Or do you believe Ohio State needs to hire another young, not well known coach similar to Tressel? It worked once, would it work again? You be the judge? Meyer, Gill, Dantonio, Ferentz or Heacock, or do have other ideas? Submit your comments and tell me what you think.