Before ever taking a college coaching job, Kerry Coombs was a very successful high school head coach.
After two seasons at Loveland HS (OH), Coombs took the head coaching job at Colerain HS (OH) and led the program for 16 seasons. During that time, he led them to the playoffs 10 times and went an impressive 161-34 overall from 1991-2006.
In 2007, he joined Brian Kelly’s Cincinnati staff as defensive backs coach, and added assistant head coach responsibilities a few seasons later. His coaching journey took him to Ohio State in 2012, and in 2018 he left for the NFL to become the defensive backs coach with the Titans.
While the recent stops on his coaching journey may seem familiar to avid readers of the site, what often gets lost in all of that is the personal and professional growth that is required to excel at each one of those stops.
Earlier this week, while talking with reporters on signing day, Coombs shared how his coaching style has had to change from high school, to college, to the NFL, and now back to the college ranks.
Coombs shared at the high school, and even at the college level, oftentimes when you tell a player to go do something, they just do it. In the NFL, players want to understand the why.
“I’m going to be honest with you, when you have to contemplate every drill, every coverage, everything that you do and you have to have a why behind it, it makes you a much better coach. Not just because you have to think about it, but because you have to explain it to somebody.”
“I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these guys and explain why we’re these things,” Coombs shared about being back with the Buckeyes. “It will make them better. That was a phenomenal part of the experience about being in Nashville.”
Coombs notes that being able to learn the very different leadership styles of Mike Vrabel, Urban Meyer and Brian Kelley has also helped him grow as a coach.
See more comments form Coombs at about the 4:00 mark of the video via Cleveland.com.