Wittenberg alum joining Ohio State football staff again


Wittenberg graduate Taver Johnson has returned to Ohio State. 

The school announced Johnson’s hiring Tuesday morning. 

After graduating from the Cincinnati Academy of Physical Education (CAPE), Johnson became one of the best to suit up for Wittenberg. 

RELATED: 5 things to know about Ohio State football for 2018

A member of the Tigers’ Hall of Honor, Johnson was the team’s MVP in 1992 and ’93, when he was also named the best defensive player in the NCAC. 

Johnson was the NCAA Division III Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, when the Tigers went 9-1. 

This will be his second stint at Ohio State. He coached cornerbacks under Jim Tressel from 2007-10 and remained on for 2011 under interim coach Luke Fickell. 

During that time, he recruited the Cleveland area for the Buckeyes and helped develop All-Americans Malcolm Jenkins and Chimdi Chekwa. 

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer hired Johnson away from Temple, where he was defensive coordinator for a season and was recently promoted to assistant head coach. 

Prior to that, he spent two seasons at Arkansas and three at Purdue. 

“I am really pleased to have Taver Johnson join our coaching staff,” Meyer said in a statement. “I’ve known Taver for a long time, going back to our days at Notre Dame, and I think he is a terrific coach and person. He’ll do an excellent job coaching our cornerbacks and mentoring the young men in our program.”

Johnson’s previous work experience also includes two seasons as an assistant at his alma mater, two stints as an assistant at Miami University and one with the Cleveland Browns. 

He also spent a year at Notre Dame, where he worked with Meyer. 

Johnson replaces fellow Cincinnati native Kerry Coombs, who took a job with the Tennessee Titans in January. 


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