Cornerbacks/Special Teams Coordinator
The Ohio State University
Kerry Coombs is the Buckeyes' cornerbacks coach and the team's special teams coordinator. He is in his second season as coach of the cornerbacks and he was given the additional responsibility of special teams coordinator by Coach Urban Meyer in Feburary 2013.
The 2013 season will be Coombs' 31st in coaching, a tenure that includes a highly successful 16-year run as head coach at Colerain High School, located just outside of Cincinnati. As successful a coach as he was in high school, Coombs likes the collegiate coaching experience.
"I am incredibly excited to be on this coaching staff," Coombs said when he was hired by coach Urban Meyer. "I am overwhelmed by the quality of everything, especially the coaches and the players. When you grow up in Ohio, there are things you don't allow yourself to dream about. I watched Woody and Archie and Pete Johnson and Cornelius Greene...and now I get to coach here? This is unbelievably humbling and gratifying for me.
"This team is full of Ohio kids wanting to win a national championship for their state school. It's hard for me to imagine having a better opportunity than this."
Hard to imagine having a better first season than 2012, as well. Not only did the enthusiastic and energetic Ohioan help coach Ohio State to a 12-0 record, he also coached the only pair of cornerbacks from one school in the nation - sophomore Bradley Roby and senior Travis Howard - to first-team all-conference honors. Roby, in fact, led the nation with 1.73 passes defended per game, a total that included a school-record-tying 17 pass break-ups. Howard led the Big Ten in interceptions with four and .33 per game.
Prior to his position with Ohio State, Coombs spent five seasons at the University of Cincinnati, including three years as associate head coach in addition to his responsibilities as the team's defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator.
Hired away from Colerain by Brian Kelly after the 2006 high school season, Coombs was part of Kelly's three Cincinnati teams that were 33-7 overall and played in BCS bowl games after the 2008 (Orange Bowl vs. Virginia Tech) and 2009 (Sugar Bowl vs. Florida) seasons.
After Kelly left UC for Notre Dame after the 2009 season, Coombs stayed on new UC coach Butch Jones' staff. After an initial 4-8 season under Jones, Cincinnati went 10-3 in 2011 with a Liberty Bowl win over Vanderbilt.
While at UC Coombs mentored three NFL draft picks: second-team All-American and UC career interception leader Mike Mickens (Dallas Cowboys), 2007 NCAA interception leader DeAngelo Smith (Dallas Cowboys) and all-BIG EAST performer Brandon Underwood (Green Bay Packers). He also coached Haruki Nakamura in 2007, his first year at UC and a year the Bearcats led the nation with 26 interceptions.
Coombs is a lifelong Ohioan. He grew up in Colerain, graduated from Colerain High School in 1979 and from the University of Dayton in 1983, and has a master's degree from Wright State (1996).
"Kerry Coombs had an incredible record of achievement as a high school head coach and he is highly regarded as one of the great coaches in Ohio high school football history," Meyer said when he hired Coombs. "I have watched him coach in high school and at the University of Cincinnati and I have great respect for the way he works. He is a strong recruiter. He knows defense and special teams. And he is an excellent teacher."
Coombs was a member of the University of Dayton's 1980 Division III national championship team while studying secondary education. He then charged through the high school ranks: spending two seasons as an assistant at Greenhills High School and four at Lakota before taking over as head coach at Loveland in 1989. Two years later - 1991 - he took over at Colerain.
In 16 seasons at Colerain Coombs' teams went to 10 state playoffs, including five state semifinal berths. His 2004 team won the Division I state championship with a 15-0 mark that included a record-setting title game win over Canton McKinley, 50-10. It was - and still is - the most points scored and the largest margin of victory in the Ohio "big school" state title game.
Colerain won seven consecutive Greater Miami Conference championships under Coombs from 2000-06, and Coombs had a 161-34 record as head coach. His overall head coaching record through 18 seasons is 167-48.
Coombs sent five of his Colerain players to Ohio State, including Jefferson Kelley in the mid-1990s and most recently Connor and Spencer Smith and Tyler Moeller.
Coombs and his wife, Holly, are the parents of three grown children: son Brayden played collegiately at Miami (Ohio) and is currently on staff with the Cincinnati Bengals; daughter Cortney played soccer at Ball State; and son Dylan plays football for Cincinnati and is in the Lindner Honors Plus business program.
Kerry Coombs Coaching Experience
|2009-11||Assoc. Head Coach/DBs/Special Teams||Cincinnati|
|1991-06||Head Coach||Colerain H.S. (Cincinnati, Ohio)|
|1989-90||Head Coach||Loveland (Ohio) H.S.|
|1985-88||Assistant Coach||Lakota (Ohio) H.S.|
|1983-84||Assistant Coach||Greenhills (Ohio) H.S.|
Kerry Coombs Quick Facts
Hometown: Colerain, Ohio
High School: Colerain
Alma Mater: Dayton (1983)
Year in Coaching: 31st (2013 will be his second year at Ohio State)
Children: Sons Brayden and Dylan; and daughter, Courtney