In his two decades as a head coach, Urban Meyer had a number of staffers go on to be head coaches or higher-ranking assistants at schools across the country.
But as we get into the thick of the 2020 college football season, Meyer identified one former staffer of his who has made a big difference for the team that hired him. Appearing on FOX's Big Noon Kickoff College Football Extra, Meyer called Texas' new defensive coordinator Chris Ash the "top coordinator hire" in all of college football.
“The top coordinator hire, to me, in all of college football was Chris Ash,” Meyer said, via 247Sports. “He’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever been around. What he’ll give to the Texas staff, he’s been a head coach. He was much more than a defensive coordinator. He was our defensive coordinator the year we won a national championship. I hired him. He came in and changed a lot of things on defense. Brought in rugby tackling. But beyond that, every player issue with things, I would always lean on him. He’s that good of a coach. He’s, by far, the best coordinator hire of the year. They’ve recruited well. I don’t know if they’ve recruited elite, but they’ve recruited well. You put Chris Ash, and I’ve talked to him a couple times, he’s impressed with the personnel on defense. I think we’ll see big-time improvement on Texas’ defense.”
Ash spent two years on Meyer's staff at Ohio State before becoming the head coach of Rutgers in 2016. But after 3.5 seasons and an 8-32 record, he was fired.
The Longhorns moved quickly to sign the former Scarlet Knights head coach. They signed him less than three months after Rutgers fired him.
Since signing on with Texas, the Longhorns defense has looked sharp. They gave up just three points to UTEP on September 12, but will face a slightly tougher challenge this coming weekend against Big 12 rival Texas Tech.
We'll see if Chris Ash and the Longhorns defense can put their money where Urban Meyer's mouth is.