"Now that I really know what you stand for, we would really like to wish you the best. Go win this darn thing," Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer told Kasich in a video posted by the campaign.
The endorsement comes as the Ohio governor leads GOP front-runner Donald Trump 34%-29% in the latest CNN/ORC Ohio poll
ahead of the state's highly contested primary.
Trump had praised the coach
earlier this month at a rally in Columbus.
"I may have to meet him, I think ... He's an amazing guy," Trump said. "And when you think you come from one school and you had some success and then you come to Ohio State and you have some success, you just don't see that. That's called talent. That's what we need in our country -- we need talent."
Until Thursday, Meyer, an Ohio native who was paid more than $5 million by the state in 2015, has avoided weighing in on the 2016 race.
"My job description is very clear and that's to coach Ohio State football and the focus is on 17- to 18- to 22-year-olds," Meyer told the Cleveland Plain Dealer
in February. "I have strong beliefs, but I'm not going to share that with you guys. I don't think that's appropriate."
Before joining the Ohio State coaching staff, Meyer was the football coach at the University of Florida. Ohio and Florida will hold their presidential primaries on March 15th.