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Ohio State hires Maryland’s Matt Barnes as special teams coordinator

Another former Terps assistant is staying in the Big Ten.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Another Maryland football assistant coach has found a new destination, as Matt Barnes will serve as the special teams coordinator and assistant secondary coach for the Ohio State Buckeyes this fall.

The news was first reported by The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman.

Barnes is the third Big Ten hire for Ohio State this week, following two previous Michigan assistants, Greg Mattison and Al Washington. He becomes the fourth incumbent Maryland assistant to find a new position, joining Andy Buh (Rutgers), Jimmy Brumbaugh (Colorado) and Azaar Abdul-Rahim (UMass).

Barnes was an original DJ Durkin hire in 2016. Prior to Maryland, the two coached together at the University of Michigan and the University of Florida. He was linebackers coach all three seasons, helping with the success of Jermaine Carter Jr. and Tre Watson. Last season, Barnes also replaced Pete Lembo as the Terps’ special teams coordinator.

Barnes’ versatile coaching background likely made him appealing to Ohio State. After playing linebacker at Salisbury University, Barnes started his coaching career as the running backs coach at Delaware Valley College in 2009. He moved to West Virginia Wesleyan as quarterbacks coach in 2010 and added offensive coordinator duties in 2011. He then moved to Florida as a defensive and special teams graduate assistant from 2012-14 and was a defensive analyst at Michigan in 2015.

John Papuchis has already been hired as the Terps’ special teams coordinator and linebackers coach next season. Papuchis was North Carolina’s defensive coordinator for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Before North Carolina, Papuchis had four years of special teams coordinating experience at Nebraska.