Urban Steals A Grinch

By Jeff Rapp, January 8th, 2018

The Grinch who rebuilt Washington State’s defense is relocating just after the holidays.

Alex Grinch, Mike Leach’s acclaimed three-year defensive coordinator, will become Ohio State’s 10th full-time assistant coach and serve as a key piece of Urban Meyer’s standout coaching staff.

The Ohio State University confirmed the news, which had been rumored for weeks, by issuing an official statement. Terms of his new contract were not disclosed and his specific role was not addressed, but he is expected to help Greg Schiano coordinate the defense and possibly tutor safeties as well.

“I am pleased to announce the addition of Alex Grinch to our coaching staff,” Meyer said in the release. “I am very impressed with his body of work while at Washington State, as many others were, and am happy he chose to come home to Ohio to become a part of our Buckeye coaching staff.”

Grinch, 37, is from Grove City, Ohio, and played college football at Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. He is a three-time nominee for the Broyles Award that identifies the top assistant coach in college football. This past season, he guided the Cougars while they ranked 16th nationally in total defense. Washington State ranked 97th in that category in 2014 – the season before Grinch came on board.

WASU’s signature win of 2017 was over USC. Grinch joins an OSU defense that just shut down the Trojans in a 24-7 win in the Cotton Bowl.

He spent three seasons as the DC at WSU (2015-17). Under his guidance, the Cougars had the No. 16 total defense in the country in 2017. That is a long way from the No. 97 total defense they had the year before Grinch was hired.

Grinch also coached the Cougar secondary, which was a big reason why WASU ranked seventh nationally in pass efficiency defense, ninth with 28 turnovers forced and allowed just 11 touchdown passes, fifth-fewest nationally, last season. The defense’s 103 tackles-for-loss are second-most in program history.

Grinch has coached the secondary at all four of his previous coaching assignments: Missouri (from 2012-14), Wyoming (2009-11) and New Hampshire (2005-08), in addition to at Washington State.

He won 54 of 55 games and three national titles as a player at Mount Union (1998-2001).

Grinch and his wife, Rebecca, are the parents of two children: a son, Tyler, and a daughter, Corbi.