OSU football coach Matt Barnes to serve as Memphis defensive coordinator

PASADENA, Calif .– Ohio State Assistant Matt Barnes is set to become the new defensive coordinator in Memphis, according to multiple reports.

Barnes, who was promoted to secondary coach ahead of this season, also took over as a defense playmaker in September when defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs was demoted.

In 11 games calling the Buckeyes defense, they have allowed an average of 20 points per game.

Barnes was first hired as the Special Teams Coordinator in 2019.

Leaving the locker room after Ohio State’s 48-45 win over Utah at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, Barnes declined to speak to reporters.

Four days before the pétanque game, he said he hoped to remain on the coaching staff under the direction of new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, who begins his tenure on Sunday.

Instead, Barnes is expected to become the first staff member to leave for the offseason. No further movement has been announced.

At least one of 10 field assistants had to leave in order to create an opening for the addition of Knowles and keep them within NCAA limits.

If there are any other moves within the staff, it doesn’t look likely to include defensive line coach Larry Johnson.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Johnson said after the game.

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Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

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