Ex-Players pay tribute to OSU coach Urban Meyer

Jo Caldwell
December 5, 2018

Day served as Ohio State's acting head coach for the first three games this season after the school suspended Meyer for mishandling the employment of former assistant coach Zach Smith. And who knows, Luke Fickell may make it a clean sweep when he's eventually done as well.

The school announced earlier in the day that Meyer would step down after the Buckeyes' appearance in the Rose Bowl.

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith said during a Tuesday afternoon press conference that Meyer will move into a new role at Ohio State where he will guide all coaches to maximize their results. In seven short years, Meyer's legacy can stand with any before him, and tower over most.

Meyer, 54, has won three national titles - two at Florida and one at Ohio State.

Meyer's 2018 campaign started out tumultuously when he was suspended for the first three games of the season without pay after an investigation into his handling of domestic abuse allegations against a former assistant coach.

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Meyer is 85-9 in seven seasons as Ohio State coach, including a 54-4 Big Ten record. Michigan's Jim Harbaugh lost four conference games in 2017 alone.

This marks the third time Meyer has left his job since 2009. Considering what happened the last time Meyer stepped away from coaching, there is and will continue to be questions about a return.

With a 186-32 record over 17 seasons, Meyer steps down with one of the best winning percentages in the history of college football.

Day, 39, has never been a head coach.

Is it a gamble?

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That ended up being as much of a gamble as a one-colored roulette wheel. Ohio State signed the conference's top class every year under his direction. This wasn't a surprise to OSU.

His contract was extended in April by two years through 2022, increasing Meyer's salary to $7.6 million in 2018 with annual 6 percent raises. The list of potential head coaches was small, so it's not something a search committee would need to be involved in.

He came to Ohio State in 2012 and took over a program recovering from scandal. "I can lie to you and say it is not important to me". And none of it was bad. "I want to congratulate Ryan Day and his family". Likely just fine. Same as Matt Campbell or most anybody else mentioned as a possibility.

Taking Meyer at his word that he is fairly certain he will never coach again means forgetting he's been down this road before only to come back. Now that this is his boat, he'll be the one at the wheel. If the changes don't work, USC could be making a change. It isn't healthy but I came to work every day with fear of letting people like Archie Griffith and the our great state of OH down because this is home.

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Hiring him is definitely a risky wager, but letting him go may have been an even bigger gamble.

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