Urban Meyer Retires as Ohio State Head Coach; Ryan Day to Replace

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2018

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer holds the trophy after Ohio State defeated Northwestern in the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, early Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Indianapolis. Ohio State won 45-24. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Urban Meyer will retire as head coach of the Ohio State football team following the Buckeyes' Jan. 1 Rose Bowl clash with the Washington Huskies.

Ohio State offensive coordinator Ryan Day will take over as head coach effective Jan. 2 and his contract is for five years, $22.5 million, according to ESPN's Dan Murphy

Marty Smith of ESPN reported Meyer addressed the team Tuesday morning and that the "room was quiet and collectively shocked."

Smith added "some key staff members" will be retained under Day, noting strength coach Mickey Marotti and assistant athletic director for player personnel Mark Pantoni are "vital."

Per Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, multiple factors contributed to Meyer's decision, including his "happiness with the state of the Ohio State program." Meyer has also suffered from health problems. He underwent brain surgery in 2014 to treat a congenital arachnoid cyst that caused him headaches, but the headaches have reportedly returned in recent seasons.

According to Thamel, doctors cautioned Meyer about the long-term health risks if he continued to coach.

Thamel also noted that Meyer views the transition to Day as similar to what occurred at Oklahoma when Bob Stoops handed the program to Lincoln Riley before the 2017 season.

OSU is 12-1, and it beat Northwestern 45-24 to win the Big Ten title. The school won three conference championships during Meyer's tenure, including each of the past two seasons. The Buckeyes finished sixth in the College Football Playoff rankings, though, as Oklahoma nabbed the fourth and final CFP spot, while two-loss Georgia was ranked fifth.

Day served as the acting head coach for the first three games of the 2018 season after Meyer was suspended for his handling of domestic violence allegations against former assistant Zach Smith.

The Buckeyes went 3-0 under Day.

This marks the second time the 54-year-old Meyer has retired from coaching, as he previously did so after the 2010 season while with the Florida Gators to focus on family and his health.

Meyer missed just one year before he took the OSU job in 2012.

During his time with the Buckeyes, he went 82-9 and capped the 2014 season by winning the first College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

Overall, Meyer went 186-32 in 17 years as a head coach at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State.

In addition to his national title at Ohio State, Meyer won it all with the Gators in both 2006 and 2008.

Aside from his three-game stint as head coach earlier this season, the 39-year-old Day will become a head coach for the first time, although he has extensive experience as an assistant both collegiately and with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers in the NFL.

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