Texas hires Chris Ash as next defensive coordinator

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ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – SEPTEMBER 28: Head coach Chris Ash of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights look on in the first quarter while playing the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on September 28, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns have hired Chris Ash as its next defensive coordinator, the program announced Tuesday.

Ash and Tom Herman have an extended coaching history together, and will be reuniting for the third time. Their career paths first intersected at Iowa State when Herman was offensive coordinator and Ash was the defensive backs coach in 2009.

Ash was most recently the head coach at Rutgers where he went 8-32 in four seasons. Ash was fired midway through the 2019 season following a 1-4 start. Very few go into the Rutgers football program and find success. Ash wasn’t the exception to that trend, but Herman is banking on his previous success as a defensive mind rather than a head coach.

Herman fired former DC Todd Orlando two weeks ago after three seasons with Texas.

“After taking a hard look at a lot of options at defensive coordinator, Chris was the one that continued to stand out,” Herman said in a statement. “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. 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.”

Following their 2009 season together, Ash left the Cyclones for Wisconsin becoming defensive coordinator in 2011. Herman and Ash reunited at Ohio State as coordinators helping the Buckeyes to the 2014 National Championship. Herman departed OSU to take the head coaching job at Houston following the championship season. Rutgers hired Ash to be its head coach after the 2015 season.

“Number one, I’m humbled and extremely honored to be able to coach football at The University of Texas. I want to thank Tom Herman and Chris Del Conte for this opportunity and for their professionalism throughout the process. My family and I are very excited to move to Austin and become part of Longhorn Nation, and I’m ready to lead and serve our student-athletes,” Ash said in a statement. “I have a great deal of respect for Coach Herman as a coach and a person. If I didn’t believe in him, I wouldn’t be making this move. I have complete confidence and faith and trust in his ability to lead and to coach, and I’m excited to be a part of this program.”

Ash reportedly came to Austin as a short-time analyst when the Longhorns were preparing for the Red River Showdown against Oklahoma this season.

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