COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State announced it has hired Jim Knowles to be its new defensive coordinator.

Knowles comes to Columbus from Oklahoma State where he was the Cowboys defensive coordinator for four years.

This year, Oklahoma State was No. 3 in total defense (278.4 yards per game) and No. 8 in the country in scoring defense (16.77).

I have offered a position on the Ohio State football staff to Oklahoma State University defensive coordinator Jim Knowles and he has accepted it. Starting Jan. 2, Knowles will be the Buckeyes’ new defensive coordinator. What is most important at this time is that we put our players in the best position possible to finish this season with a win in the Rose Bowl. To that end, we will continue our planning and preparation for the game with our current staff of 10 assistant coaches.

Ryan Day, Ohio State head coach

Oklahoma State Defense 2021

  • #1 in sacks (55)
  • #1 in tackles for a loss (113)
  • #3 in total defense
  • #5 in run defense (91.2 rush yards per game)
  • #2 in third-down defense
  • #8 in scoring defense

Knowles went to Oklahoma State after an eight-year run at Duke, where he was an integral part in leading the Blue Devils to five bowl appearances in his last six years.

In 2018, the Cowboys allowed an average of 32.5 points and 452.5 yards per game. But in 2019, those numbers improved to 26.8 points per game and 412.3 yards per game. Then in 2020, those numbers improved again to 23.5 points per game and 379.0 yards per game.

From 2004-09, Knowles served as head coach at his alma mater, Cornell, where he compiled a 26-34 record in his six seasons at the helm of his alma mater.

A 1987 graduate of Cornell, Knowles spent nine years (1988-96) as an assistant coach at Cornell, helping the Big Red to Ivy League championships in 1988 and 1990.