Trustees approve contract extension for Coach Ryan Day
First Ohio State coach to earn Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 40 years
The Ohio State University Board of Trustees approved a three-year contract extension for head football coach Ryan Day that will keep him on the sidelines as head coach of the Buckeyes at least through the 2026 football season.
The football team, No. 3 nationally in 2019 after a 13-1 season, is also among the best academically. Ohio State football most recently had a 987 multi-year Academic Progress Rate that was not only No. 2 in the Big Ten, but that also earned the program a national public recognition award, one of just 14 given in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Ohio State fielded a program-record 23 college graduates on its 2019 College Football Playoff semifinals roster and 39 players were Academic All-Big Ten Conference honorees last fall for having grade point averages of 3.00 or above. Additionally, captain Jordan Fuller was one of 12 National Football Foundation scholar-athletes, a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy (the “academic” Heisman Trophy), and he earned Academic All-America accolades for a third time.
The program has also reached significant highs in total number of players achieving OSU Scholar-Athlete status with a nine-year high 47 such honorees in 2018-19 after having 40 in 2017-18.
“Ryan Day’s management of this football program, from mentoring and leading our student-athletes in their academic pursuits and off-field endeavors to coaching them on the playing field, has been exceptional,” Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director Gene Smith said. “I am appreciative of his work. And I want to thank President Michael V. Drake for his leadership and the Board of Trustees for its work with this extension.”
Day will make $5.375 million from Feb. 1, 2020, through Jan. 31, 2021, plus the university will make an employer contribution of $1 million to his retirement continuation plan on Dec. 31, 2020. He will receive his current salary through June 30, 2020. Beginning July 1, 2020, Day will be paid at an annualized rate of $6.0 million per year through Jan. 31, 2021.
Day’s compensation for the 2021 season will be $6.5 million and his total compensation for the 2022 season will be $7.6 million.
Increases to his compensation package after Feb. 1, 2023, will be determined by the director of athletics and approved by the Board of Trustees. The Ohio State Department of Athletics is completely self-supporting; it receives no university funds, tax dollars or student fees.
Day guided the Buckeyes to a 13-1 season in 2019, his initial season as a head coach. His team was dominant: winning 13 consecutive games by an average of over 36 points per game while ranking in the Top 5 of 12 major NCAA statistical categories.
Ohio State went 9-0 in the Big Ten Conference and Day became the first Ohio State coach in 40 years – since 1979 – to be named Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year, with the media voters honoring him with their Dave McClain coach of the year award.
Day’s Buckeyes defeated four ranked teams in the regular season: No. 25 Michigan State (34-3), No. 13 Wisconsin (38-7), No. 9 Penn State (28-17) and No. 10 Michigan (56-27).
Then Ohio State defeated No. 10 Wisconsin, again, in the Big Ten championship game to become the first team in Big Ten history to win three consecutive outright Big Ten championships. Day has been on staff for all three of the titles, serving as quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator in 2017 and quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator 2018.
Ohio State returned to the College Football Playoffs in 2019, the third time the team has played for the national championship in the six years of the CFP, and the first time since 2016.
Day’s 13 victories in 2019 are tied for the most by a first-year FBS head coach, and he is the first coach to win 13 games without the benefit of a bowl victory. Day’s 2019 Buckeyes were ranked among the nation’s Top 5 in 14 of 16 weeks this season and extended a school winning streak to 19 games.
Individually in 2019, Day coached a third consecutive Big Ten Quarterback of the Year and his program featured the first 2,000-yard running back in school history, two Heisman Trophy finalists – only the sixth time this has been accomplished – and four first-team All-Americans. He was considered for virtually every national coach of the year honor.
Day is 16-1 in his career as a head coach, including a 6-1 record vs. Top 25 teams, a 3-1 record vs. Top 10 teams and a 10-0 mark in Big Ten Conference games.
Day and his wife, Nina, have a social mission away from football to increase education, advocacy and fundraising for childhood mental health initiatives. The couple has partnered with the national On Our Sleeves movement to help transform childhood mental health. In doing so, they announced the creation of the Ryan and Christina Day Fund for Pediatric and Adolescent Mental Wellness at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.