Brian Haines is in his 12th season at Ohio and his eighth as the team's special team's coordinator. In addition to working with the squad's special teams unit, he also serves as the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for the Bobcats. Since joining Frank Solich's coaching staff in a full-time capacity in 2010, Haines has helped guide the Bobcats to 74 victories, two Mid-American Conference East Division titles, eight bowl appearances and the first four bowl titles in school history.
Under Haines' watch, Ohio's special teams unit has consistently ranked as one of the best in both NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and the Mid-American Conference in terms of kickoff and punt returns and kickoff and punt defense. He has coached the two highest-scoring players in program history in Matt Weller (409 points, 2009-12) and Louie Zervos (335 points, 2016-present) as well as three of the top four kickers in terms of field goals made in Weller (79; 2009-12), Zervos (57; 2016-present) and Josiah Yazdani (31; 2013-15). Zervos enters his 2019 redshirt senior season as the program's all-time leader in extra points made with 164. He has also developed Michael Farkas into one of the top punters in the country entering his 2019 senior season, as Farkas ranks second in program history in career punting average (41.36) and fourth in punting yards (7,114).
Haines has coached three tight ends who have gone on to play in the NFL, including Jordan Thompson, Keith Heitzman and Troy Mangen.
The tight ends unit has helped Ohio boast the top offense in the MAC each of the last two years. The 2018 team set the school for points scored with 521, a mark that was previously held by the 2017 team (508 points). Ohio's 6,068 yards in 2018 were good for the second-most in school history. The Bobcats ranked ninth in NCAA FBS in rushing offense (258.5 yards per game), 12th in scoring offense (40.1 points per game), 16th in total offense (466.8 yards per game), 17th in first downs (318) and 23rd in red zone offense (.889 scoring percentage).
Ohio's special teams also excelled in 2018, with the Bobcats ranking third in the NCAA FBS in kickoff return defense (15.09 yards per return), 10th in blocked kicks (4), 21st in kickoff returns (23.7 yards per return) and 22nd in net punting (39.81 yards per punt) to help the team win nine games for the second year in a row and earn a 27-0 shutout win over San Diego State in the 2018 DXL Frisco Bowl. Farkas earned All-MAC First Team selection after leading the league in punting with a 43.41 average (fourth-best in program history). Zervos set a school record by converting all 68 of his extra points, breaking his own school record of 61 set in 2017. Farkas was named MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week twice while Zervos earned honors once. DL Knock tied the school record by taking the second-half kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown in the season-opening win over Howard and was named MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts. Alvin Floyd was named MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week after scoring a touchdown on a blocked punt by Knock in a blowout win at Western Michigan. Kylan Nelson ran a punt back for a touchdown in a win over Akron in the regular season finale to lock up MAC East Division Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Will Evans blocked a field goal at Cincinnati while Jared Dorsa blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown by Dylan Conner at Miami.
The Bobcats won nine games in 2017 and blew out UAB in the 2017 Bahamas Bowl, 41-6, as the kickoff return defense ranked 11th in the NCAA by surrendering just 17.42 yards per return. Ohio ranked second in the MAC in kickoff returns (21.4 yards per return) and third in punt returns (8.5 yards per return). Papi White garnered All-MAC Third Team selection as a punt returner by averaging 8.9 yards per return. Zervos garnered All-MAC Second Team honors by knocking down 15 of his 18 field goal attempts (83.3 percent) to rank first in the conference. His 18 field goals made tied for the ninth-most in program history. Offensively, tight end Brendan Cope led the team with four touchdown receptions and ranked second on the squad with 494 receiving yards.
The 2016 season saw Ohio post eight wins and capture the MAC East Division title behind their redshirt freshmen specialist duo of Zervos and Farkas. Zervos was named to the All-MAC First Team, setting an NCAA record for field goals made by a freshman kicker with 29 -- the most in a single season in program history. His 122 points scored were good for the third-most in a single season in school history. USA Today recognized him by naming him to its Freshman All-American Team. Farkas was named to the All-MAC Third Team, ranking third in the conference by averaging 40.8 yards per punt, with 30 of his punts landing inside the 20-yard line (42 percent). His 71 punts that year rank as the seventh-most in a single season in program history while his 2,895 punting yards are good for the sixth-most. The Bobcats ranked 23rd in NCAA FBS punt return defense, giving up just 4.61 yards per return.
Ohio won eight games and earned an invite to the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl in 2015 as Haines' punt return defense ranked eighth in NCAA FBS by permitting just 2.94 yards per return while his kickoff return defense gave up just 18.66 yards per return to rank eighth. On offense, tight end Keith Heitzman hauled in three touchdown catches.
The 2014 campaign saw Daz Patterson garner All-MAC Second Team selection as a punt returner as Ohio ranked second in the conference in punt return average (8.75 yards per return). The Bobcats also ranked second in the MAC in kickoff return defense by allowing just 19.73 yards per return and fourth in kickoff return average with 21.8 yards per return. Yazdani knocked down 17 field goals (sixth-most in a single season in program history), bookending the season with a pair of last-second game-winning field goals over MAC East Division rivals Kent State and Miami. He went a perfect 27-for-27 on extra point attempts. Punter Mitch Bonnstetter's 41.75-yard average the year ranks as the ninth-best in school history.
In 2013, Ohio's special teams unit ranked seventh in NCAA FBS in kickoff return defense (17.7 yards per return) and 21st in punt return defense (4.53 yards per return). Yazdani connected on 14-of-15 field goal attempts, setting a program record with a 93.3-percent success rate and ranking sixth in the country. He was also a perfect 30-for-30 on extra point attempts and was named to the All-MAC Second Team for his efforts. Devin Bass earned All-MAC First Team honors as a kickoff returner while Travis Carrie joined him on the First Team as a punt returner. Carrie total 267 punt return yards (eight-most in program history), averaging 12.70 yards per return (eighth-highest in program history). The tight ends unit finished the year with 363 yards and three touchdowns. Senior Troy Hill led all Bobcat tight ends with 257 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Hill's 257 yards receiving in 2013 were a single-season career high.
The 2012 season marked Haines' first directing the special teams, and the unit ranked ninth in NCAA FBS in punt return defense by giving up just 3.28 yards per return. Weller earned All-MAC Second Team honors and finished his career as the program's leader in points scored, field goals made, field goals attempted, extra points made (now second) and extra points attempted. His 23 field goals made and 49 extra points made that season rank as the third-most in a single season school history, and his 118 points scored that year rank as the fifth-most. Ryan Clark averaged 15.60 yards per punt return that year, which is good for the fourth-most in program history. Haines' tight end combined for 29 receptions, 387 yards and three touchdowns. Ohio finished the year with nine wins and earned its second-straight bowl victory -- a dominant 45-14 victory over ULM in the 2012 Advocare V100 Independence Bowl.
During the 2011 campaign, Haines mentored Thompson to his best single season of his collegiate career as he posted career highs in receptions (24) and receiving yards (258). The Bobcats posted a 10-win campaign, captured a MAC East Division title and pulled out a thrilling 24-23 triumph over Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl for the program's first bowl win in school history.
In 2010, Haines returned to Athens in a full-time capacity after spending 2009 as a graduate assistant at West Virginia. He helped Thompson earn a spot on the All-MAC Second Team after the sophomore snared 21 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns.
Haines served as a graduate assistant for the Bobcats' offense during the 2007 and '08 seasons. He assisted the offensive staff and worked directly with the wide receivers and offensive line. His role as graduate assistant saw him coaching the scout team defense and assisting in scouting by breaking down upcoming opponents' defensive game film.
In 2009 at WVU, Haines worked on the offensive side of the ball, specifically supervising slot receivers and running backs. He helped coach the team's leading rusher (All-Big East First Team tailback Noel Devine) and leading receiver (Jock Sanders) on the field, while handling game plan and film breakdown duties in the office and position meetings. The Mountaineers made an appearance in the Gator Bowl that season.
Prior to his time as a graduate assistant at Ohio, Haines served as an assistant coach at Marietta College for three seasons. He coached the wide receivers for two seasons and the secondary for one. He also served as the strength and conditioning coordinator for two years. During Haines' tenure at his alma mater he helped guide three players to all-conference honors, including Nic North, who set a school record for receptions in a game with 14. Three of the four career leading receivers at Marietta were coached by Haines between 2004 and '06.
Haines resides in Athens with his wife, Mary, and their daughters, Blair and Quinn.