Report: Ohio State DC Greg Schiano one of top candidates for Oregon job
On Saturday, Nike co-founder and Oregon backer Phil Knight was in the Ohio State locker room after the Buckeyes took down Michigan. He gave a victory speech about how proud Nike was of Ohio State for its performance.
Also in that locker room was first-year OSU co-defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. The man with head coaching at the NFL and college ranks had a major impact in the Buckeyes’ 11-1 regular season and possible College Football Playoff berth.
According to The Oregonian, Knight noticed.
With news coming out on Tuesday night that Mark Helfrich was fired as the Ducks coach, Schiano has reportedly emerged as a candidate for the job.
Here was an excerpt from the Oregonian piece, detailing Knight’s postgame experience in Columbus:
Knight looked joyful and engaged. He was in the presence of a winning program that made him proud. But it was who was in the room, particularly taking a knee to Knight’s left, near the smiling Meyer, that caught my attention. That would be Buckeyes defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. Because regardless of how and why Knight ended up in that locker room, it’s Schiano who has emerged as a strong candidate in this search.
Schiano isn’t the splashiest name on the list of candidates. Florida coach Jim McElwain, Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck and former Oregon and current San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly are some of the biggest names out there as possible targets.
But as the Oregonian piece notes, Schiano would be a course-correction for the Ducks. Known for their high-powered offense, Oregon’s defense hit rock bottom in Brady Hoke’s first and likely only season in Eugene. The Ducks finished 126th of 128 FBS teams in total defense.
Schiano’s defense, on the other hand, was fourth.
Will that make Schiano the top target in Eugene? That much is unclear. Fleck’s name and personality seem to be the obvious fit to restore Oregon’s high-energy image. If offered, that would obviously be a more attractive destination than Purdue.
Ohio State could potentially lose both defensive coordinators with Luke Fickell rumored to be a strong candidate for the Florida Atlantic job. Along with Chris Ash, who left OSU to take over at Rutgers last year, that would be three defensive coordinators gone in two years.
If any of those rumors become a reality, Urban Meyer’s ever-growing coaching tree will expand once again.