Two OSU Asst. Coaches Fired


Ohio State football coach John Cooper, saying changes were needed after a bad season, has fired two assistants and promoted three others.

Offensive coordinator Mike Jacobs and defensive ends coach Shawn Simms were let go Monday, two weeks after the Buckeyes closed a dismal 6-6 season with a three-game losing streak.

Defensive coordinator Fred Pagac was promoted to assistant head coach, although he will continue to work with the defense. Secondary coach Jon Tenuta was elevated to defensive coordinator, and wide receivers coach Chuck Stobart was promoted to offensive coordinator.

Cooper said it was clear why he made the changes.

"The main reason, obviously, was the kind of year we had," Cooper said. "I wasn't happy with anything concerning our football team this year. I wasn't happy with the way we coached.

"I think it's ridiculous to stand with a pat hand when you think you can do better."

The Buckeyes, who missed a bowl berth for the first time since Cooper's first year in 1988, had problems at almost every position. The offense averaged 24 points but turned the ball over 29 times. The line surrendered 40 sacks and quarterback Steve Bellisari had the school's worst passing percentage (45.1) in 26 years.

On defense, Ohio State surrendered 287 points almost twice as many as a year ago when the Buckeyes went 11-1, won the Orange Bowl and finished No. 2.

A week ago, quarterback Austin Moherman who had started the first two games but was played sparingly thereafter asked Ohio State for his release so he could transfer.

Cooper said career considerations played a part in the promotions.

"Sometimes titles help you in this business," he said. "It might help those guys professionally."

Ohio State has had 31 full-time assistant coaches during Cooper's 12 years.

Cooper said there was a possibility that more changes could come. He said he might switch some of the remaining assistant coaches' areas of responsibilities.

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