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COLUMBUS — Turns out, the man hired to reassemble the Ohio State football team’s defense is not taking a pay cut.
Contrary to earlier reports, new co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash will make at least $590,000 this season, according to a copy of his contract obtained through an open records request.
Ash, who most recently served as Bret Bielema’s defensive coordinator at Wisconsin and Arkansas, will earn a base salary of $520,000 this year and a “one-time transition payment” of $70,000 — possibly to help pay a reported $100,000 buyout owed to Arkansas. He will make a base of $550,000 next season — the same as his total compensation at Arkansas last year.
Ash’s guaranteed pay next season makes him Ohio State’s second highest-paid assistant behind only co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, who earns $600,000. Like Ohio State’s other assistants, Ash can also cash in bonuses ranging from an amount equal to a month of his base salary if the Buckeyes win the Big Ten East division to two and a half months of pay if they make the new four-team national playoff.
Ohio State’s other new assistant, defensive line coach Larry Johnson, will earn a base salary of $400,000 this season and $410,000 next year.