Brian Kelly got his money and a new opportunity from LSU, but now the new head coach needs to fill out his staff. The Tigers wrapped a 6-6 season last Saturday and announced the hiring of Kelly Tuesday morning.

A report from The Athletic’s Pete Sampson revealed that Kelly tried—and failed—to reunite with one of his former assistant coaches: Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford.

Sampson reports that the Buckeye assistant plans to remain in Columbus.

Alford is in his 7th season as the running backs coach for the Buckeyes. But before he came to Columbus, he was at Notre Dame with Kelly. Alford served as the team’s running backs coach in 2009 before Kelly was hired, and when Kelly came aboard for the 2010 season, he was the only assistant from the previous staff retained. He moved to coach wideouts, where he served for 2 seasons before moving back to running backs. He also served as Kelly’s recruiting coordinator from 2012 through his departure for Ohio State.

With the Buckeyes, Alford has become one of the best running back coaches in college football. He has coached a 1,000-yard runner in 6 of his 7 seasons with Ohio State: Ezekiel Elliott (2015), Mike Weber (2016), J.K. Dobbins (2017, 2018, and 2019), and now TreVeyon Henderson (2021).