COLUMBUS, Ohio — James Laurinaitis, one of the most decorated linebackers in Ohio State history, is returning to Columbus to join the coaching staff at his alma mater.
Head coach Ryan Day announced Laurinaitis, a graduate assistant at Notre Dame this past season, will join his staff as a graduate assistant coach who will work with the team’s linebackers.
“I am thrilled for our program and especially for our current and future Buckeyes who will benefit so much from having James on staff,” Day said. “James is a terrific young man with wisdom as a Buckeye and experience as an eight-year NFL veteran. He is going to be a very important part of our program going forward.”
A two-time team captain, Laurinaitis is one of only eight three-time All-Americans in Ohio State history. He played on four Big Ten championship teams with the Buckeyes, twice helped the team to the BCS national championship game and went 4-0 against Michigan.
In addition to his All-American accolades, Laurinaitis was honored with four major national awards. He won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s outstanding defensive player as a sophomore, he took home the Butkus Award as America’s top linebacker as a junior and he became Ohio State’s first-ever winner of both the Lott IMPACT Trophy and Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award as a senior.
Ohio State’s leading tackler as a sophomore, junior and senior and the Big Ten defensive player of the year in both 2007 and 2009, Laurinaitis finished his career with 375 total tackles, seventh-best in school history.
Laurinaitis was selected in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the St. Louis and went on to become the Rams’ all-time leading tackler with 852 in his seven-year career with the organization.
He played his final season with the New Orleans Saints in 2016.