Ohio State Keeps Fickell, Vrabel on Staff, Add Defensive Coordinator

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Luke Fickell

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer added another staff member today: Everett Withers, the current interim head coach at the University of North Carolina.

Withers has been a collegiate coach for 17 years and has also worked seven seasons in the National Football League: six years (2001-06) as defensive backs coach with the Tennessee Titans under Jeff Fisher, and a year (1994) as a defensive quality control coach for the New Orleans Saints. In Columbus, he’ll serve as co-defensive coordinator with this year’s interim Head Coach Luke Fickell.

Finishing up his fourth year at North Carolina, Withers was promoted to interim head coach at the school this past July and led the Tar Heels to a 7-5 record and to a berth in the Dec. 26 Independence Bowl against Missouri. He will coach the Tar Heels in the bowl game.

Meyer also announced today that Mike Vrabel, who coached the team’s linebackers this season after a decorated, 14-year career in the NFL with the New England Patriots, has accepted an assistant coaching position to remain at his alma mater.

“I also spoke to a number of people I know well, who also know Mike very well, including Bill Belichick. Coach Belichick and I had a really good discussion about Mike. While Mike is young, we both agreed that the unique experiences he has had as a player, coupled with the things he has already accomplished as a coach and recruiter for Ohio State, has prepared Mike for this opportunity. I am very pleased he will be on the staff.”

Fickell, who will call plays as co-defensive coordinator, and Taver Johnson are additional defensive assistants. Stan Drayton will move from wide receivers coach to running backs coach. And Tom Herman, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Iowa State University the past three years, has accepted the same position with Ohio State.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio shows all across the world. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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