The Ohio State Buckeyes are bringing back one of their past star players to serve on Ryan Day’s coaching staff. James Laurinaitis, who excelled as a linebacker for the Buckeyes and played 8 years in the NFL, will be a defensive graduate assistant and assistant linebackers coach.
⚡️ @JLaurinaitis55 to return to @OhioStateFB in coaching roll
3️⃣x All-American linebacker from 2005-09 will serve as a grad assistant on @RyanDayTime staff #GoBucks
— Ohio State Buckeyes 🌰 (@OhioStAthletics) January 27, 2023
Laurinaitis was a graduate assistant for one year with Notre Dame before taking the position at Ohio State. He will fill the role held by Koy McFarland, who has moved on to become the linebackers coach at Tulsa.
Laurinaitis was a 3-time All-American with the Buckeyes, and he had followed up his NFL career with a stint as a TV and radio broadcaster. He took on his role with Notre Dame largely because of his close relationship with Fighting Irish head coach Marcus Freeman, who had been his teammate at Ohio State.
The ex-linebacker joins offensive coordinator Brian Hartline and quality control coach Devin Jordan as former Ohio State players on the current coaching staff.
“I am thrilled for our program and especially for our current and future Buckeyes who will benefit so much from having James on staff,” Day said in a press release. “James is a terrific young man with wisdom as a Buckeye and experience as an eight-year NFL veteran. He is going to be a very important part of our program going forward.”
James Laurinaitis regularly displayed great range and anticipation during his playing career at Ohio State. He had 130 tackles, 7 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks during his senior season with the Buckeyes in 2008.