As Butch Jones takes over at Arkansas State, he is slowly starting to build his staff in Jonesboro.

On Thursday, a report dropped that Jones’ potential defensive coordinator will join his staff after cutting his football teeth in the Big Ten.

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Rob Harley was born in the heart of Big Ten country in Elmhurst, Illinois. He eventually went on to star at Ohio State. While in Columbus, he lettered three times, including in 2002 when the Buckeyes captured the national championship. Harley played in Ohio State’s defensive backfield in a time where Ohio State dominated as the Buckeyes went 29-8 in his final three seasons.


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After graduating in 2006, Harley’s coaching career began in Div. II with Old Dominion. Eventually, Harley would land as a graduate assistant at Michigan State. He spent one year working with offense and special teams in 2012 before switching to linebackers and special teams in 2013.

Harley earned a master’s in kinesiology before moving on to be linebackers coach at Florida International. One year there led to Harley catapulting to Pittsburgh, where he took over as the linebackers coach. He has been there since 2015 and added recruiting coordinator to his job title in 2017.

At 38 years old, Harley appears to be a rising young coach in the college football ranks. This seems to be the next logical step up in his rise on the college football coaching ladder.