Ryan Day already had increased responsibility heading into the 2018 season.
Promoted to be the offensive coordinator for Ohio State, Day had the responsibility of making his mark on the quarterback position, guiding redshirt sophomore Dwayne Haskins into his first fall camp as the starting quarterback for the Buckeyes.
However, that responsibility dramatically increased Wednesday afternoon.
Ohio State announced head coach Urban Meyer would be placed on paid administrative leave as the school investigates domestic violence allegations made against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith, and whether the head coach knew about them. In that time, the team announced Day would take over as interim head coach.
Since he arrived at Ohio State in January 2017, Day has been on the fast track. In his first season as a co-offensive coordinator, the Buckeyes tied with Penn State for the conference lead of 41.1 points per game, which was ranked as No. 6 in the nation, and led the Big Ten with an average of 506 yards of offense per game, ranked No. 7 in the nation.
After the 2017 season, Day was promoted to offensive coordinator, signing a three-year deal with Ohio State with a base salary of $1 million per season.
In a press release announcing his promotion to offensive coordinator, Meyer complimented Day, calling him “a very talented coach” who was “an outstanding addition” to the program. Meyer also said Day had many offers in the offseason both as a head coach at the college level and a coordinator in the National Football League.
Even with all of the accolades and accomplishments Day has had in his coaching career, this is the first time he has ever been the head coach at any level. The same cannot be said of other members of Ohio State’s coaching staff going into the 2018 season.
Associate head coach and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano spent 11 seasons as the head coach at Rutgers, earning six bowl appearances in his time with the Scarlet Knights. Schiano also spent two seasons as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012 and 2013.
After nine seasons as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, Kevin Wilson, now an offensive coordinator and tight ends coach at Ohio State, spent six seasons as head coach at Indiana, posting a record of 26-47.
However, both Schiano and Wilson have faced recent controversy. In November 2017, Schiano was reportedly on the verge of becoming the next head coach at Tennessee before allegations he knew of the sexual abuse of Jerry Sandusky resurfaced when the two were assistant coaches together at Penn State, causing the Volunteers to rescind their offer. In 2016, Wilson was fired from his position as head coach due to allegations against him mistreating players while at Indiana.
In his statement after being placed on paid administrative leave, Meyer said Day’s promotion, for however long it is, “allows the team to conduct training camp with minimal distraction.”
With the increased responsibility and a team that will continue to have high hopes for the upcoming season, Day has an opportunity to prove something for not only Ohio State, but for his future endeavours moving forward.
Instead of Meyer, it will be Day preparing for Oregon State. At least until further notice.