Kerry Coombs is in his second season as the Titans secondary coach in 2019. He arrived in 2018 with 35 years of prior coaching experience, having spent the previous six seasons (2012-17) at Ohio State.
Kerry Coombs is in his second season as the Titans secondary coach in 2019.
In his first season with the team, Coombs incorporated cornerback Malcolm Butler and safety Kenny Vaccaro as veteran additions to a secondary that already included safety Kevin Byard and cornerbacks Logan Ryan and Adoree’ Jackson. The 2018 Titans ranked sixth in the NFL in passing defense (216.9 yards per game), ranked eighth in the league with an opponent passer rating of 88.4, and finished ninth in the league with a 63.2 opponent completion percentage. Titans defensive backs accounted for 10 total interceptions and an NFL-high nine sacks.
Coombs arrived in Tennessee with 35 years of coaching experience, including six seasons at Ohio State from 2012-17.
Coombs was promoted by head coach Urban Meyer to the position of assistant coordinator, defense in 2017. He also worked with the Buckeyes cornerbacks and as special teams coordinator.
In the five NFL Drafts from 2014 through 2018, five Ohio State cornerbacks who were developed by Coombs were selected in the first round: Bradley Roby (2014, Denver Broncos), Eli Apple (2016, New York Giants), Marshon Lattimore (2017, New Orleans Saints), Gareon Conley (2017, Oakland Raiders) and Denzel Ward (2018, Cleveland Browns). Additionally, every one of his starting cornerbacks at Ohio State reached the NFL.
In 2017, the Ohio State defense ranked ninth in the NCAA in yards allowed en route to the team’s second Big Ten Championship during Coombs’ time there. Ward earned consensus All-America honors and first-team All-Big Ten accolades after recording 17 passes defensed and two interceptions.
In 2016, the Buckeyes ranked fourth nationally with 21 interceptions, including a nation-high seven interceptions returned for touchdowns, and the team ranked third in the country in passing efficiency defense. Lattimore and Conley each picked off four passes.
On the 2014 National Championship squad, Apple was a freshman All-American and Doran Grant was named first-team All-Big Ten.
Prior to his tenure with Ohio State, Coombs spent five total seasons at the University of Cincinnati after being hired by head coach Brian Kelly in 2007 and remaining on Butch Jones’ staff for two years. The Bearcats led the nation with 26 interceptions in 2007. Coombs added associate head coach to his title for three seasons (2009-11) in addition to his responsibilities as the team’s defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator.
Before joining the Titans, Coombs was a lifelong Ohioan. He grew up in Colerain, graduated from Colerain High School in 1979 and from the University of Dayton in 1983, and has a master’s degree from Wright State (1996).
Coombs was a member of the University of Dayton’s 1980 Division III National Championship team while studying secondary education. He then became an assistant for two years (1983-84) at Greenhills (Ohio) High School and four years (1985-88) at Lakota (Ohio) before taking over as head coach at Loveland (Ohio) in 1989.
In 1991, he took over at Colerain as head coach, and in 16 seasons under his leadership, the team went to 10 state playoffs, including five state semifinal berths. His 2004 team won the Division I state championship with a 15-0 mark. Colerain won seven consecutive Greater Miami Conference championships from 2000-06, and Coombs had a 161-34 record as head coach.
Coombs and his wife, Holly, are the parents of three grown children: daughter Cortney and sons Brayden and Dylan.
Kerry Coombs’ Coaching Timeline:
2018-19: Secondary, Tennessee Titans
2017: Assistant Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks/Special Teams Coordinator, Ohio State
2013-16: Cornerbacks/Special Teams Coordinator, Ohio State
2012: Cornerbacks, Ohio State
2009-11: Associate Head Coach/Defensive Backs/Special Teams, University of Cincinnati
2007-08: Defensive Backs, University of Cincinnati
1991-06: Head Coach, Colerain (Ohio) High School
1989-90: Head Coach, Loveland (Ohio) High School
1985-88: Assistant Coach, Lakota (Ohio) High School
1983-84: Assistant Coach, Greenhills (Ohio) High School