NEW YORK — The audition is over for wide receivers coach Brian Hartline.
The interim tag has been officially removed after a dynamic first season leading his position group, and he’ll be a full-time member of the coaching staff for Ryan Day moving forward.
Multiple sources with direct knowledge confirmed the move to Lettermen Row. An announcement from the school is expected on Saturday as Ohio State officials celebrate the Heisman Trophy presentation with quarterback Dwayne Haskins in New York City.
“Brian is a terrific young coach and mentor to our players and I am thrilled he is on our staff permanently now,” Day said in a school release. “Brian was displaying outstanding leadership qualities when he was a quality control coach, and his efforts coaching the wide receivers this season are a huge reason we are Big Ten champions and headed to the Rose Bowl.”
There will have to be at least one more coaching move made following the retirement of Urban Meyer with a position on the offensive side of the ball now available. But locking up Hartline is the first key piece for Day as he fills out the coaching staff.
Day has been mum so far about what the shape of that group will look like, preferring to wait until after the Rose Bowl when he takes over permanently for Meyer. But the work Hartline did with the wide receivers was clearly too solid to ignore, and that unit played a critical role in helping Haskins get in position to break records and become one of three finalists for the biggest individual honor in college football.
“We’re so busy right now and everything has happened in the last 48 hours very fast,” Day said early in the week. “Guys are on the road recruiting. This is a big time for us recruiting with the early signing day. We’re getting ready for the bowl game. That’s the focus right now. Like every year at the end of the bowl game, we’ll go through and evaluate everything.”
The process is already complete with Brian Hartline. And he’s not going anywhere for the Buckeyes after leaving no doubt about his value to the staff.
For more coverage of Ryan Day and the coaching staff, stick with Lettermen Row. This story will be updated with comments from the Buckeyes as warranted as the program moves forward following Urban Meyer’s retirement after seven years leading the program.