In a strategic move that solidifies the coaching staff for the Ohio State Buckeyes, Head Coach Ryan Day has appointed James Laurinaitis as the full-time linebackers coach, rounding out the 2024 coaching roster. Laurinaitis’s journey to this coaching role has been marked by a combination of stellar playing career, coaching experience, and a strong Buckeye legacy.

Laurinaitis brings with him a wealth of coaching expertise, having spent the past two seasons honing his skills. In 2022, he served as the linebackers coach at Notre Dame under close friend and former teammate Marcus Freeman. Laurinaitis played a crucial role in developing the Fighting Irish’s defensive unit, showcasing his dedication to the craft and cementing his reputation as a rising coaching talent.

Before transitioning to coaching, James Laurinaitis made a lasting impact on the football field as a player, especially during his time at Ohio State. As a standout linebacker for the Buckeyes from 2005 to 2008, Laurinaitis showcased his exceptional skills and football acumen. During his collegiate career, he amassed an impressive 375 tackles, earning him recognition as a two-time consensus All-American.

His success at Ohio State paved the way for a remarkable NFL career. Laurinaitis was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Over his seven seasons in the league, he continued to display the same tenacity and skill that defined his college years. Laurinaitis finished his NFL career with an impressive 852 tackles, further solidifying his reputation as one of the premier linebackers in the professional ranks.

James Laurinaitis’s connection to the world of sports runs even deeper, as he is the son of the legendary WWF professional wrestler, Road Warrior Animal (Michael Laurinaitis). Growing up with a father who left an indelible mark on the world of professional wrestling undoubtedly influenced Laurinaitis’s approach to the game and contributed to his relentless work ethic.

Now, as the tenth and final full-time coach on Ryan Day’s 2024 staff, Laurinaitis returns to Ohio State, bringing a unique blend of playing experience, coaching acumen, and a deep understanding of the Buckeye tradition. His appointment adds a valuable asset to the coaching staff, poised to guide and inspire the next generation of linebackers at Ohio State, following in the footsteps of a proud lineage of football excellence.