Tim Albin is Ohio’s new coach.
Following Frank Solich’s surprise retirement announcement Wednesday morning, Ohio Athletics named Albin as the next coach in the same press release. Albin’s deal comes with a four-year contract. Albin has served as Ohio’s offensive coordinator and running backs coach since 2005, the same year Solich arrived in Athens. In 2019, he was named associate head coach following Jimmy Burrow’s retirement. Now, after 16 years with the Bobcats, Albin is at the helm.
In his retirement press conference, Solich spoke highly of Albin, his coaching staff and the players he’ll be leading next season.
“I know the spirit and the drive and the energy of our players and of our coaches,“ Solich said. “They will do the best job possible.”
Albin’s first coaching highlight was in 1999, when he won Coach of the Year and the National Associate of Intercollegiate Athletics championship with Northwestern Oklahoma State. That was before he and Solich become a long-term duo. The two have a long history together, even before their time at Ohio. Albin initially coached under Solich at Nebraska as an offensive graduate assistant from 2000 until 2002. In 2003, he was promoted to running backs coach and passing game coordinator but was let go along with Solich after the season.
Albin had a brief stint as North Dakota State’s offensive coordinator and running backs coach in 2004, when he guided the Bison to an 8-3 season. Following that, Albin made his way to the Bobcats to work under Solich once again.
Albin was an important part in Solich’s rebuilding of Ohio. He’s coached offensive Bobcat greats such as Nathan Rourke, Tyler Tettleton, AJ Ouellette and LaVon Brazill. Since 2005, Ohio’s offense has ranked in the top 50 in the country in terms of scoring in five seasons. It was ninth in the nation in 2017, when the Bobcats averaged 39.1 points per game, Rourke finished with a passer rating of 132.9 and Ouellette rushed for 1,006 yards.
Ohio has finished with a top 25 scoring offense every season since. The Bobcats followed that up with 40.1 points per game in 2018, ranked 12th in the nation. In the past 10 seasons, Albin has produced seven of the top eight scoring offenses in Ohio history.
Going into 2021, Albin will have an opportunity to work his offensive magic as the head of the Bobcats. Mainly, he has a decision to make regarding the team’s quarterback situation. Kurtis Rourke and Armani Rogers are both starting caliber quarterbacks but with different play styles. Rourke has a cannon of an arm but has struggled outside the pocket in the past, whereas Rogers is primarily used as a run option. The two saw split playing time in 2020 despite Rourke starting every game, and it will be up to Albin whether he wants to work with that system again or designate one to having more regular playtime.
That question and others will be what defines Albin’s rookie season at the helm. Like all first-year coaches, there will be bumps in the road, but Solich thinks he’s ready to lead the Bobcats against a tough Mid-American Conference.
“The MAC conference has gotten better,“ Solich said. “It’s not going to be an easy deal for anyone to win and to win with regularity in our conference. That’s all something that Tim (Albin) has to take on. He is the right guy for that.”