Ohio State Rewards Ryan Day With Bigger, Longer Contract

Bruce Hooley

If Ryan Day ever becomes too enamored with the NFL to remain as Ohio State's head coach, there won't be anything the university can do to stop him.

But OSU doesn't want to leave its affinity for Day unexpressed, and hence it is moving toward extending his contract three years—long before there's any compulsion to do so.

The Ohio State Board of Trustees will undoubtedly confirm that with votes Wednesday and Thursday to extend Day's deal with four years still remaining through at least the 2026 season.

By then, Day would be completing his eighth season with the Buckeyes, assuming his desire for the pros and its desire for him doesn't interrupt a love affair Day is having with the power and possibilities of his current position and a mutual infatuation OSU's fan base is having with him in the wake of a 13-1 season.

The Buckeyes finished third nationally this past season after a loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff, and those two teams are odds-on favorites to get back to that level again, given both a returning a wealth of talent from 2019 and a monster 2020 recruiting classes.

Day wound up making $5.2 million in the first year of a five-year deal that ran through the 2023 season, with $400,000 of that coming in bonus payments for winning the Big Ten championship and reaching the Playoff.

He will receive a raise of more than $500,000 in base compensation to $5.375 million from Feb. 1, 2020 through Jan. 31, 2021, plus the University will make a $1 million contribution to Day's retirement account later this year.

He will receive $6.5 million for 2021 and $7.6 million for 2022, with raises yet to be negotiated for his contract term after that.

Day became the first OSU coach in 40 years to win Big Ten coach of the year, and the outright league championship he won in his first full season was a conference-record third straight.

Day served as quarterback coach and then offensive coordinator on the first two of those championship teams under Urban Meyer.

Day gets credit for three wins on his résumé from 2018 when he filled in during a suspension Meyer served for his handling of the Zach Smith allegations and investigation.

 For the latest on Ohio State follow Sports Illustrated Buckeye Maven on Twitter @BuckeyeMaven.

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