Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano is staying at Ohio State.
"It's flattering when people have an interest in you, but this is where my family and me wanted to be,” Schiano said Wednesday on national signing day.
Several reports on Monday indicated that the New England Patriots would hire Schiano as their coordinator, though that was later disputed.
Schiano and Ohio State remained silent about his status, and he continued to help the Buckeyes finish the recruiting cycle.
“After the season, there were opportunities both in college football and the National Football League,” Schiano said. “But at the end of the day, my family, myself, we love it here. Tremendous people, the university, the town. It’s become home.”
Schiano has been with the Buckeyes for two seasons. Ohio State ranked ninth nationally in 2017 in total defense and sixth in 2016.
“He's essential to our program right now,” coach Urban Meyer said. “If he is not my best recruiter, he's certainly right there near the top. He manages so much for me off the field as well as being one of the top defensive coordinators in America. And he's a relationship person. He's not one of those coaches that knows his position or that side of the ball and that's it. He knows everyone, because he's been a head coach before.”
That Schiano, 51, surfaced as a candidate for the Patriots’ coordinator job after Matt Patricia was hired as the Detroit Lions head coach was not a surprise. Schiano and New England coach Bill Belichick are close.
He helped Rutgers rise from college football oblivion before becoming the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was fired in 2013 after two seasons.
Schiano had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Tennessee in late November to become the Volunteers’ head coach before backlash among the team’s fan base caused the school to renege on its offer.
Ohio State’s hiring of Washington State defensive coordinator Alex Grinch as its 10th assistant and giving him a contract with a $800,000 base salary fueled speculation about Schiano’s possible departure. Schiano made $700,000 in 2017, though athletic director Gene Smith said OSU assistants will get raises soon.
Meyer already lost one defensive coach to the NFL when cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs left to join the Tennessee Titans.
“That took my breath away a little bit,” Meyer said. “He was instrumental in our success here. I was shocked when he did that."