Jeff Hafley reportedly turned down interview with NFL team to stay at Ohio State
Ohio State is one of the most special places in college football, arguably one of the elite places to be a player or a coach. It’s that kind of prestige that is keeping Jeff Hafley in Columbus, despite other opportunities.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Cincinnati Bengals were looking to interview Hafley for the vacant defensive coordinator position. However, Hafley reportedly turned down the opportunity to stay with the Buckeyes.
That’s pretty significant for a coach who has extensive NFL experience and has spent the last seven seasons coaching at the professional level. But the job at Ohio State was too attractive to leave.
“I had opportunities to go be some type of coordinator in the NFL this past year,” Hafley said, according to Dan Hope of Eleven Warriors. “I came back here because this is a special place. You get a chance to coordinate at a place where you can win a lot of games. That’s important.”
Jeff Hafley last week on coming to Ohio State: "I had opportunities to go be some type of coordinator in the NFL this past year. I came back here because this is a special place. You get a chance to coordinate at a place where you can win a lot of games. That's important." https://t.co/p7ZHJxPmEi
— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) February 15, 2019
Hafley was named the co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Ohio State by new head coach Ryan Day. He’ll share responsibilities with Greg Mattison.
Hafley has spent the last seven years in the NFL, and spent the last three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers as the secondary coach. He also spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns.
Ohio State will be the first time Hafley has coached a college team since serving as the secondary coach at Rutgers in 2011.