The number of absences for Ohio State is astounding as the Buckeyes attempt to keep their undefeated season alive despite missing 23 players, head coach Ryan Day and three assistant coaches.

Despite the absences, one cool and historic story came out of this situation. Larry Johnson, Ohio State’s defensive line coach and associate head coach, is taking on head coaching duties. He’s the first black head coach in the history of the Buckeye program.

Johnson, a Williamston, North Carolina native, is a long time assistant coach in the Big Ten. He joined the Penn State coaching staff in 1996 as a defensive ends and special teams coach. He eventually took over as defensive line coach in 2000 and served in that role until 2013.

Beginning in 2014, Johnson made his way to Columbus and has held the defensive line coach position since then while also being an associate head coach.

Along the way, Johnson has coached some big-time defensive linemen at Ohio State. That includes the Bosa brothers and Chase Young.

Though Johnson’s tenure as the leading man for the Buckeyes will likely last just a game or maybe two, it’s still significant and seems like a long time coming for a guy who’s certainly put in the time.