Whither Withers? Sorry, had to do it.
WRAL has confirmed that University of North Carolina interim head coach Everett Withers will join the coaching staff at Ohio State.
Withers, who will remain with the Tar Heels through the Independence Bowl on Dec. 26, has been a candidate to join Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer's staff since Meyer's hire in November.
Ohio State has also retained their interim head coach, Luke Fickell who will apparently serve as co-defensive coordinator with Withers.
One interesting side note to this hire is the reaction of UNC fans. Let me say upfront that Withers is good teacher and highly regarded. He did a great job keeping UNC from going into a death spiral after Butch Davis was fired and it is nice to see him rewarded with a position on the staff of an elite football program.
What I don't get, in reading the message boards, is people who either wanted to keep Withers on as defensive coordinator under Larry Fedora or praise Withers as though he was a great defensive coordinator. Obviously Urban Meyer sees something he likes in Withers or else he would be hiring him. That being said, for four years on this blog and on Inside Carolina I have read numerous complaints about Withers. His scheme sucked. His defensive playcalling sucked. He didn't properly utilize the ridiculous number of NFL Draft picks on the roster. There was a constant refrain over the lack of aggressiveness by the defense, the tendency to use a prevent late in games(which resulted in at least one loss at UVa) and just a general feeling that the defense was top ten because of the talent not the scheme.
That is not to say Withers isn't a good coach in the player level as far as teaching goes. However I have read enough complaining about Withers as a DC over the past four years to make me wonder why now the same fans have a different take on him.
At any rate, best of luck to Withers at Ohio St. Hopefully they have their NCAA issues worked out so he doesn't have to relive that again.