Brian Hartline has been elevated to full-time wide receivers coach by new Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, the school announced on Saturday.
Hartline, 32, a former OSU and NFL receiver, had been named interim receivers coach back in late July by Urban Meyer, in the wake of the firing of six-year assistant Zach Smith. The news Saturday represents the first move in reshaping the coaching staff by Day, who on Tuesday was named by the school as the successor to the retiring Meyer, whose final game will be the Rose Bowl vs. Washington on Jan.1.Join the conversation at Facebook.com/groups/BuckeyeXtraFans and connect with us on Twitter @BuckeyeXtra
“Brian is a terrific young coach and mentor to our players and I am thrilled he is on our staff permanently now,” Day said in the school’s press release. “Brian was displaying outstanding leadership qualities when he was a quality control coach, and his efforts coaching the wide receivers this season are a huge reason we are Big Ten champions and headed to the Rose Bowl.”
As Day alluded, Hartline spent 2017 on the program’s support staff, his first foray into coaching after a seven-year NFL career, the first six spent with the Miami Dolphins and his final season, 2015, with the Cleveland Browns.
He mentored an OSU receiving corps this season dominated by three fifth-year seniors – all captains – in Parris Campbell, Johnnie Dixon and Terry McLaurin, plus juniors K.J. Hill and Binjimen Victor augmented in the late going by freshman Chris Olave. They were the primary targets of first-year starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., a third-year sophomore who became one of three Heisman Trophy finalists after a record-setting season that including Big Ten marks for passing yards (4,580) and touchdown passes (47), both of which are No.1 nationally.
With still a game to play, th e receiver corps has 291 receptions for 4,211 yards and 43 touchdowns, which according to already OSU tops the former school records for the unit of 287 catches, set last year; and for yards of 3,707 and TDs of 42, both set in the 2014 national championship season.
Interestingly, Hartline now has been part of six Big Ten championship teams at Ohio State, from 2005-08 as a player, and the past two seasons.