ATHENS, Ohio -- Jeremiah Covington has been promoted to Assistant Athletics Director for Football Operations, as announced by 16th-year Ohio head coach Frank Solich.
Covington has spent the last two years serving as Operations/Recruiting Assistant for the Bobcats, earning two bowl rings as Ohio won the DXL Frisco Bowl and the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. He replaces Chris Rodgers, who had served in the Assistant AD for Football Operations role for the past six seasons.
"It was important that our Assistant AD for Football Operations have familiarity with our program, our coaching staff and our student-athletes," said Solich. "Jeremiah fit that criteria, and he is well-respected by all involved with our program. He has proven himself the past two years in his previous role as our operations assistant, and I know he will approach this new challenge with a great attitude and do a great job."
In his new role, Covington will monitor the program's budget, plan and organize team travel, collaborate with NFL scouts, facilitate the Ohio Football Alumni Golf Outing and direct the high school & youth camps.
"I would first like to thank Chris Rodgers, who was an awesome leader and an even better friend," said Covington. "The moment I arrived on the Ohio campus, I was welcomed with love. I immediately invested myself in the program and what it stands for. This was a no-brainer to want to continue my career at OU, working with such great professionals across the board. I hope to be a part of great success here for years to come."
Covington is a 2011 graduate of Wingate University in North Carolina, where he was a member of the football team, playing on the defensive line and special teams for the Bulldogs. Prior to arriving in Athens, Covington served as the defensive coordinator assistant/recruiting assistant at Jireh Prep School in Matthews, N.C., then returned to Wingate in 2013, where he worked as the assistant defensive backs coach and handled recruiting and operations responsibilities before being promoted to director of football operations. Covington's experience also includes working as a scouting combine assistant for the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers and serving as the head coach at East Union Middle School in Marshville, N.C.
In addition to Covington's promotion, Solich announced that Ryan Bainbridge will now serve as the program's Director of Recruiting & Player Personnel while De'Angelo Smith has added the title of Director of Player Development in addition to serving as Ohio's cornerbacks coach.
Over the last three years serving as Ohio's Director of Player Personnel & High School Relations, Bainbridge has overseen all on-campus recruiting activities and operations. He will now establish staff recruiting areas and responsibilities and manage roster structure under the direct supervision of Solich in addition to his previous duties. In Bainbridge's short tenure overseeing the internal recruiting department, Ohio has already signed a class that has the highest average rating per player in school history (2019: .8103 rating, per 24/7 Sports). Bainbridge is a 2015 graduate of Ohio with a Bachelor's degree in Sports Administration and will graduate again this May from Ohio with a Master of Sports Administration degree.
In Smith's new role as Director of Player Development, he will be tasked with initiatives aimed at developing the student-athlete and specific life skills. Other duties include improving and expanding the football mentoring program that assists in the acclimatization of first-year and transfer student-athletes to life in Athens. Additionally, Smith will act as the program's NFL liaison and be the point of contact for NFL and pro Football scouts and personnel as part of their evaluation process of current student-athletes. Smith joined Solich's coaching staff as cornerbacks coach prior to the 2017 and has helped lead the Bobcats to a Mid-American Conference-leading three-straight bowl victories. Under his guidance, the cornerbacks helped Ohio lead both NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and the Mid-American Conference with 32 turnovers gained in 2018. A former NFL defensive back, Smith came to Ohio following three years working at Michigan State, primarily with the defensive backs. Smith was a three-year letterwinner as both a cornerback and safety at Cincinnati from 2006-08. He was selected in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft (No. 143 overall) by the Dallas Cowboys.
"Ryan and De'Angelo will continue to be tremendous assets to our program as they add new responsibilities," said Solich. "Recruiting and player development are the lifeblood of our program, and Ryan and De'Angelo will help us continue to excel in those areas and reach for even greater heights as we strive to win championships."
Over the last 16 years under the leadership of Solich, MAC's all-time winningest head coach, Ohio has recorded 113 wins, captured four MAC East Division titles, appeared in 11 bowl games and tallied five bowl victories. The Bobcats recorded their fifth-straight winning season and 11th under Solich with a seven-win campaign in 2019, wrapping up the year with a 30-21 victory over Nevada in the 23rd Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to record their program-record third-straight bowl win.
Ohio will open the 2020 season on Saturday, Sept. 5 against North Carolina Central at Peden Stadium in Athens. To purchase 2020 season tickets, click here.