position Linebackers Coach
Hometown Columbus, OH
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio native Al Washington is in his third season as coach of the Ohio State linebackers. He joined the coaching Jan. 8, 2019 and is in his 14th year coaching on the collegiate level.
Washington played on and coached Boston College teams that included Ohio State head coach Ryan Day on staff. He also has other significant ties to the Buckeye football program, having grown up in and around Ohio Stadium and attending Bishop Watterson High School. His father, Al Washington Sr., played linebacker for the Buckeyes from 1977 through 1980 and currently ranks eighth in career tackles with 345.
Washington helped Ohio State’s defense lead the nation in four statistical categories in 2019, including total defense and passing yards allowed, while compiling a 13-1 record and a third consecutive outright Big Ten Conference championship. He also developed four linebackers into all-conference performers with Malik Harrison a first-team honoree and Tuf Borland, Baron Browning and Pete Werner all earning honorable mention honors.
All four of Washington’s senior linebackers on the 2020 Ohio State team were in the NFL in August 2021: Borland (Minnesota), Browning (Denver), Justin Hilliard (San Francisco) and Werner (New Orleans).
Washington coached linebackers at Michigan during the 2018 season, helping the Wolverines produce the nation’s No. 3-ranked overall defense and the second-ranked unit against the pass. Washington also mentored consensus All-American and Butkus Award finalist Devin Bush, who was the Big Ten’s Woodson-Nagurski Defensive Player of the Year and Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year. All three of his linebackers earned all-Big Ten honors this past season as Khaleke Hudson and Josh Uche each were named honorable mention all-league by the league’s coaches and voting media.
Washington assisted with special teams, and the Wolverines were tied for fourth nationally in blocked punts, led the Big Ten in punt average and allowed just one kick return all season of 30 yards or more.
Washington came home to Ohio from the east coast in 2017 when he served as defensive line coach for former Buckeye Luke Fickell at Cincinnati. Prior to Cincinnati, Washington spent five years at his alma mater – Boston College – on the same staff as Ryan Day. Washington coached running backs from 2013 through 2015 before taking over as the program’s special team’s coordinator and defensive line coach during the 2016 season. He began his tenure in 2012 as the assistant special teams coach and assistant defensive line coach.
On the same offensive staff as Day in 2013, Washington helped develop Andre Williams into a Heisman Trophy finalist and the ACC’s first-ever Doak Walker Award recipient. That season, Williams rushed for 2,177 yards and 18 touchdowns, becoming just the 16th player in FBS history to surpass the 2,000-yard mark.
Over the three seasons that he coached running backs, Boston College ranked first in the ACC with 211.8 yards per game. The Eagles improved their rushing output in each season and broke the school’s season rushing record in 2014.
In his final year at Boston College, Washington moved to the defensive side of the ball and coached the defensive line. With his help, the Eagles were one of the nation’s best units, ranking in the top 10 in total defense, sacks, tackles for loss and rush defense. He coached defensive end Harold Landry, an All-American, who led the nation with 16.5 sacks. Landry was a second round draft choice of the Tennessee Titans.
Washington coached linebackers at Elon in 2011. A two-year stint at Slippery Rock proceeded Washington’s tenure at Elon. He began his coaching career in 2007 as the defensive line coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institution (RPI) before a one year stay in 2008 at N.C. State as a graduate assistant.
An outstanding player in his own right, Washington was a three-year starter and four-year letterwinner as a defensive tackle for Boston College (2002-05). He finished his career with 74 tackles, six sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. The Eagles won eight or more games in all four of his years and were unbeaten in four bowl games. He graduated in 2006 with a degree in sociology. At Bishop Watterson, Washington was the 2001 co-Defensive Player of the Year in Division II and led the Eagles to the state championship game.
Washington and his wife, Melissa, have a son, Michael, and a daughter, Audrey.
Al Washington Quick Facts
Birthday: April 22, 1984
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
High School: Bishop Watterson
Alma Mater: Boston College, 2006
Year in Coaching: 13th (Second at Ohio State)
Family: Wife Melissa; son Michael and daughter Audrey
Al Washington Coaching Assignments
|2019||Linebackers||Ohio State University|
|2018||Linebackers||University of Michigan|
|2017||Defensive Line||University of Cincinnati|
|2016||Defensive Line||Boston College|
|2013-15||Running Backs||Boston College|
|2012||Assistant Special Teams/Defensive Line||Boston College|
|2009-10||Defensive Line||Slippery Rock|
|2008||Graduate Assistant||North Carolina State|
|2007||Defensive Line||Rensselaer Polytech Inst.|