Bobcat cornerback Ian Wells and defensive coordinator Jimmy Burrow
Jimmy Burrow joined the Ohio Football coaching staff as defensive coordinator on Jan. 4, 2005 and reunited with Frank Solich after two seasons together at Nebraska (2001-02). The 2012 campaign marks the ninth season for Burrow as the Bobcats' defensive coordinator. In addition to running the defense, Burrow works directly with the safeties.
Since arriving in Athens, Burrow has coached 26 All-MAC players and All-Americans Dion Byrum (2005) and Noah Keller (2009). He has also seen two of his players selected to the NFL Draft over the last five years. Defensive end Landon Cohen was taken in the seventh round of the 2008 draft by the Detroit Lions, and Mike Mitchell was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2009 draft. 2010 graduate Stafford Gatling signed a professional contract with the New York Jets.
This past season, Ohio ranked among the top five in several Mid-American Conference categories, including scoring defense and total defense. In addition, Ohio held four of its opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing.
Following the regular season, linebacker Alphonso Lewis and Neal Huynh both received All-MAC Third Team honors. Lewis finished the year with 61 tackles which ranked second on the team. Huynh received all-league recognition after he paced the team with 8.0 tackles for loss. Huynh would later go on to sign a professional contract with the Atlanta Falcons.
In the 2012 Advocare V100 Independence Bowl, Burrow's defensive scheme held Louisiana-Monroe to season lows in total offense (314 yards) and points (14). Coming into the contest, the Warhawks had averaged 442.7 yards of total offense and 35.5 points per game.
Under Burrow's direction in 2011, the Bobcats had the Mid-American Conference's second best scoring defense, limiting opponents to just 22.1 points per game. Burrow's defensive game plans also limited opponents to fewer than 100 yards in fi ve games, including the 2011 season-opener where the Bobcats held New Mexico State to just six yards rushing.
Burrow's 2011 unit finished the year ranked among the league's top five in six different defensive categories and led the league in interceptions, finishing the year with 15 picks. Following the year, four Bobcats would go on to receive All-MAC recognition.
In 2010, Ohio's defense finished third in the MAC in rush defense (104.1) and rushing touchdowns allowed (nine). Burrow's unit also ranked fourth in opponents' first downs (134) and scoring defense (19.1) while finishing fifth in sacks (14).
Ohio's defense burst onto the national scene by forcing 37 turnovers, a total that tied for tops nationally back in 2009. The Bobcats also finished seventh in turnover margin (0.93) and 18th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (108.1). In the MAC, Ohio also finished second in scoring defense (21.3), third in pass defense (194.8) and fifth in total defense (348.5) and sacks (22). From an individual perspective, linebacker Noah Keller led the league with 155 tackles en route to honorable mention All-America honors. Safety Gerald Moore also picked off six passes, a total that tied for top honors for freshmen nationally.
For his efforts, Burrow was named Scout.com's 2009 MAC Defensive Coordinator of the Year.
In 2006, the Bobcats owned the MAC's top scoring defense (18.1), and ranked third in pass defense, fourth in rushing defense and third in total defense. Ohio cut its total number of points allowed by almost 25 percent in 2006, despite having played three extra games. Ohio had five players named first- or second-team All-MAC, the most in school history.
Despite the adjustment period of switching from a 3-4 alignment to a 4-3 in 2005, the first season in the new system produced Ohio's first non-special team All-American since 1968 in cornerback Dion Byrum. Byrum tied for second in the nation with six interceptions, including two returned for a touchdown, scoring three touchdowns during the season. Byrum joined linebacker Matt Muncy on the All-MAC First Team. Muncy led the conference with 115 tackles. It marked the first time Ohio placed two defensive players on the league's first team since 1989.
A 25-year coaching veteran at several diff erent levels, Burrow spent two seasons in Fargo, N.D., along with current off ensive coordinator Tim Albin, as defensive coordinator at North Dakota State where his defense allowed a league-low 13.6 points and 285.0 yards per game in 2004. Two members of his defense were named first-team All-Great West Football Conference, while three earned second-team honors. The I-AA Bisons finished 2004 ranked 24th in the nation.
Burrow served as a graduate assistant coach at Nebraska for two seasons (2001-02) before moving to North Dakota State with Husker defensive coordinator Craig Bohl, who took over at the helm of the Bison program.
Before his stint at Nebraska, Burrow was head football coach at Ames High School (Iowa) for two years (1999-2000) and was an assistant coach at that same high school for four years prior to that (1995-98). Burrow also served as assistant head coach of the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League during that same six-year time period.
Burrow began his coaching career in 1981 at Washington State, where he spent one year as tight ends coach before moving to the defensive backfi eld for the next fi ve. He joined the Iowa State staff as secondary coach in 1987, spending eight years with the Cyclones. For his last season (1994), Burrow was elevated to co-defensive coordinator. Burrow moved to the sideline after a successful playing career both at the collegiate and professional levels. He was a second-team All-Big Eight defensive back at Nebraska, prompting the Green Bay Packers to choose him in the eighth round of the 1976 draft. Burrow, an Academic All-Big Eight selection, helped the Cornhuskers to the 1975 league title.
Burrow went on to play five years in the Canadian Football League. He was a member of the Montreal Alouettes from 1977-79, helping the squad to three Grey Cup finals, including the 1977 title. He was a CFL Eastern Conference All-Star in 1978 and 1979. Burrow finished the 1980 season with the Calgary Stampeders, and played the 1981 season with the Ottawa Rough Riders. A native of Amory, Miss., Burrow graduated with a bachelor's of science in education from Nebraska in 1976, and he earned a master's in education from Washington State in 1981.
Burrow and his wife, Robin, have one son, Joey. Burrow also has two other sons, Jamie and Dan, both of whom played football at Nebraska.