COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State’s spring game, set for April 15 at 12:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium, will have an additional feature as head coach Urban Meyer has asked two of his close friends, and outstanding individuals in their respective fields, to serve as guest coaches for the scarlet and gray teams: Hall of Fame coach Lou Holtz and NIKE Inc. Chairman Emeritus Phil Knight.
“I am very close to each of these individuals and I have enjoyed their friendship over many years,” Meyer said, “but even more I respect the impact they have had on Ohio State and college football. I am looking forward to having Coach Holtz and Phil Knight on our campus as guest coaches, and I am very appreciative they want to take part in and support our spring game.”
Holtz, who hired Meyer at Notre Dame in 1996 as receivers coach, is the College Football Hall of Fame coach who won 249 games and coached six different universities into bowl games – the only coach to do so. He won the 1988 national championship at Notre Dame with a 12-0 record. He coached 41 years in the collegiate ranks, including the 1968 national championship season at Ohio State under Woody Hayes.
Knight is a co-founder of NIKE, the world’s largest footwear, apparel and equipment company that is headquartered in Beaverton, Ore. He was the company’s president for 26 years and is currently its chairman emeritus.
Ohio State and Nike have been apparel partners for more than two decades and, in January 2016, agreed on an innovative, 15-year sponsorship through 2033 that will invest heavily in Ohio State’s student-athletes while also providing benefits for the broader student body. Benefits beyond athletics include monetary support and products, an endowment for student scholarships and Nike internships for both athletes and non-athletes.
The spring game will be Knight’s second visit to Ohio Stadium in five months. Previously, he was at the Nov. 26 game between Ohio State and Michigan, and he spoke to the team following its thrilling, 30-27 double overtime victory.