The former Cincinnati-area high school coach will return to his hometown for Saturday's Ohio State spring game in Cincinnati, coaching the only way he knows how.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – He tried cerebral and informative and by the book, not emotional and teasing and relentlessly upbeat, and Kerry Coombs lost himself. He was lost because by changing his coaching style, he was ignoring what he’d been telling his players and his own children for two decades, and now, if he was going to quit and go home, he was at least going to try his way first.
Halfway through his first practice on his first day as a college coach at the University of Cincinnati in December 2006, Coombs stood in the back of the endzone and had a conversation with himself. The day before, he’d resigned as the wildly successful head coach at nearby Colerain High School, his departure after 16 years treated like a funeral. He’d been hired by new Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly less than 48 hours after he’d first talked to him, and now on the field with the Bearcats, Coombs was a stranger – “as miserable as I’ve ever been in coaching.”
Miserable not with the chance. Miserable with himself for being someone he wasn’t.
It didn’t take long for Kerry Coombs, white shirt, to get into his groove as an Ohio State assistant during his debut with on first-year coach Urban Meyer’s staff against Miami (Ohio) on Sept. 1, 2012.
Marvin Fong, The Plain Dealer