The Cincinnati Bearcats football is expected to hire former Ohio State defense coordinator Kerry Coombs, sources say

The University of Cincinnati is expected to hire former Ohio State defense coordinator Kerry Coombs, sources told ESPN, marking his return to the city, where he has served more than two decades, as a high school coach and in an academy during which he began his college coaching career.

Coombs is expected to coach cornerbacks and be the special teams coordinator for the Bearcats, working on defense under sophomore coordinator Mike Tressel. Coombs was demoted from his playcalling duties at Ohio State in September, and his departure from Buckeyes sets the stage for a reunion with the school where he spent five seasons from 2007-11 as an assistant under Brian Kelly and Butch Jones.

Coombs, 60, worked alongside Ohio State’s defensive coordinator at the time, Luke Fickell, at Columbus for five seasons until Fickell took over the job at Cincinnati in 2017.

Coombs brings one of the strongest track records in the country in recruiting and developing corners, in a career that spanned two years as a secondary coach with the Tennessee Titans. During his first stint at Ohio State from 2012-17, each of Coombs’ starting corners reached the NFL. Overall, Coombs helped recruit or develop at least seven corners scored in the first round, including Bradley Roby, Marshon Lattimore and Denzel Ward.

Coombs, 60, brings extensive experience as both a coach and recruiter. Coomb’s ties to Cincinnati run deep, having spent 16 years as the head coach at his alma mater, Colerain High School, which he led to 10 state playoff appearances and an unbeaten championship run in 2004. His overall record as a high school coach was 167-48 over 18 seasons.

Coombs will help fill two of the Cincinnati staffing positions as corner coach Perry Eliano went to Ohio State and special teams coordinator Brian Mason went to Notre Dame.

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