Ohio State Buckeyes: New defensive coordinator to make nearly $2 million

Credit: Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images

Credit: Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images

Ohio State’s quest to fix a leaky defense will cost a pretty penny.

New defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, who was hired away from Oklahoma State, will make $1.9 million next season as he begins a three-year contract.

ExploreFirst look at what Knowles could bring to Buckeyes

The size and length of the deal are notable as Ohio State’s highest-paid assistants last year made $1.4 million, and assistant coach contracts are typically two-year pacts.

Knowles is set to begin Jan. 2, and his contract runs through Jan. 31, 2025.

Per financial terms obtained though an open records request, Knowles is also set to receive a $138,850 signing bonus, and he is eligible for various yearly bonuses tied to team success.

Ohio State also agreed to cover up to $66,666 of a buyout (plus a percentage of applicable taxes) for Knowles from Oklahoma State, where he coordinated one of the top defenses in the country last season.

Knowles signed a term sheet Dec. 7 with the understanding a full employment contract will be completed later.

Explore5 things to know about Ohio State football coach contracts for 2021

Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson and defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs both had salaries of $1.4 million in 2021 in the second year of two-year deals.

While Wilson’s offense was one of the best in the country, Coombs was stripped of play-calling duties after the Buckeyes struggled defensively at the beginning of the season.

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