Texas Officially Announces Chris Ash as the New Defensive Coordinator

Texas football has now officially released that they have hired Chris Ash

Ash spent five years in the Big Ten Conference, including four as a defensive coordinator, with four Big Ten championships. In his five seasons total as a defensive coordinator, including 2013 at Arkansas, Ash led four groups ranked in the top 25 statistically, including a top-10 defensive unit in 2015 at Ohio State. As the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin in 2011 and 2012, the Badgers put together back-to-back seasons that ranked 15th overall in total defense. The 2011 squad was 13th in scoring defense, while the 2012 team was 17th.

He is known as a guy who recruits and turns around defenses. When he was hired at Ohio State, he improved a Buckeye defense that placed 110th nationally in pass defense and 46th in total defense in 2013. In his first season, OSU’s defense ranked 19th nationally in total defense (342.4 ypc), 26th in scoring defense (22.0 ppg), 13th in pass efficiency defense (108.17) and 28th in pass defense (201.1 ypg). The Buckeyes also ranked fourth nationally with 24 interceptions, fifth in turnovers gained (33), 16th in third-down defense (34.4%), 13th in sacks (3.00 pg) and 14th in tackles for loss (7.3 pg) en route to a Big Ten and National Championship.

Earlier this week Cody Alexander broke down the concepts Chris Ash will bring on the field:

What exactly does Ash bring to the table? A calming of the waters. Ash is in the same mold as Pat Narduzzi of Pitt or Mike Dantonio of Michigan State. Watch a Rutgers game (I know…) and you will see that there are not many exotic pressures, multiple packages, or dangerous alignments. Ash is a Quarters purest and will play different types of Quarters. As a change-up, Ash will bring Fire Zone pressures with Cover 3 behind them (we will discuss these later).  Versus Ohio State, Ash used multiple looks, one being the 4-down Over Front (3 tech. set to the RB) below. This looks very similar if not the same as any Michigan St. or Pitt defense. 

Structurally, Ash will look like many of the top defensive minds in football. Look for the Longhorns to bounce from 4- to 3-down fronts and incorporate the Tite/Mint Front that is used almost universally across college football.

Ash will bring consistency week to week. Quarters in and of itself is man-like in nature. This will bode well for the talented Texas secondary.

That being said, there is always an indoctrination period in the Big 12, but Ash has had success and is known as a “DB guy.” 

Tom Herman on Chris Ash:

“After taking a hard look at a lot of options at defensive coordinator, Chris was the one that continued to stand out. We couldn’t be more excited about what he’ll add to our staff. I’ve witnessed firsthand Chris’s skills as a game planner, his attention to detail and ability to develop players. He gets the best out of every one of them and has a history of building physical, fundamentally sound, winning defenses. He has done it at the highest level, is a tremendous all-around coach and an awesome person. I know he’ll do great things, and our players, coaches, and staff will really enjoy working with him. We look forward to his arrival in Austin, getting to work, and he and his family joining our Longhorn family.”

Chris Ash on Texas:

“Texas is a place with a lot of history and tradition. It’s synonymous with success. There are great players that have been in this program, there are great players in this program, and I’m really excited about what we can do in the future. I’ve recruited in the state of Texas. When I was at Ohio State, I had been in the state to recruit, and as a young coach at Iowa State in the Big 12, I always thought Texas was the gold standard and would be a place you would want to be at and work at, and I’m thrilled about this opportunity.”