Dantonio was Buckeyes' D coordinator

Updated: December 23, 2003, 7:49 PM ET
Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Mark Dantonio was hired as Cincinnati's football coach Tuesday after helping Ohio State build one of the nation's top defenses.

Dantonio, the Buckeyes' defensive coordinator, replaces Rick Minter.

Minter was fired Dec. 1 after a decade on the job. He was dismissed three days after the Bearcats (5-7) ended their season with a 43-40 loss to Louisville. He finished with a 53-63-1 record over 10 seasons and had the most wins and losses in school history.

Dantonio won't have to wait long to face his former school and longtime friend and boss, Jim Tressel. The Bearcats open the 2004 season at Ohio State on Sept. 4.

The Buckeyes spent most of the past season as the No. 1 defense against the run in all of Division I-A. The Buckeyes (10-2) play Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2.

Ohio State, keyed by its defense, won the 2002 national championship, beating top-ranked Miami 31-24 in the Fiesta Bowl.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press