Texas hires former Rutgers head coach Chris Ash as defensive coordinator

Tom Herman is turning to a former co-worker to coordinate his defense.

The school confirmed Tuesday that ex-Rutgers head coach Chris Ash will be Texas’ new defensive coordinator. Former Texas defensive coordinator Todd Orlando was fired at the end of the 2019 regular season amid a staff shakeup in Austin.

Ash was fired in September from his job as Rutgers’ coach. He was 8-32 as the Scarlet Knights’ head coach. The program has won just four conference games since moving to the Big Ten. Rutgers officially introduced Greg Schiano as the team’s latest head coach earlier this month.

Ash served as Ohio State’s co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach in 2014 and 2015 before he was hired as Rutgers’ head coach. Herman was Ohio State’s offensive coordinator in 2014, and the Buckeyes won the first College Football Playoff with both coaches in Columbus. Herman then took over at Houston for two years before he became Texas’ head coach in 2017.

Orlando was Herman’s defensive coordinator for each of his first three seasons in Austin. However, Texas’ defense gave up 29 points per game and has allowed more points in each successive season of Herman’s tenure.

Chris Ash was on Ohio State's staff in 2014 with Texas coach Tom Herman. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

"After taking a hard look at a lot of options at defensive coordinator, Chris was the one that continued to stand out. We couldn't be more excited what he'll add to our staff. I've witnessed firsthand Chris' skills as a game planner, his attention to detail and ability to develop players. He gets the best out of every one of them and has a history of building physical, fundamentally sound, winning defenses,” Herman said.

“He has done it at the highest level, is a tremendous all-around coach and an awesome person. I know he'll do great things, and our players, coaches and staff will really enjoy working with him. We look forward to his arrival in Austin, getting to work, and him and his family joining our Longhorn family."

While Texas has reportedly found its newest defensive coordinator, it’s still looking for an offensive coordinator. Tim Beck lost his title as the team’s OC and will be the team’s QB coach for the Alamo Bowl against Utah. Texas was reportedly interested in hiring USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, but Harrell agreed to a multi-year contract extension to stay with the Trojans.

Texas went 7-5 in 2019 after going 10-4 and beating Georgia in the Sugar Bowl to cap the 2018 season.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports

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