Two weeks ago, Ohio State held a press conference to announce Urban Meyer’s retirement following the team’s game against Washington in the Rose Bowl. Meyer’s departure coincides with the rise of offensive coordinator Ryan Day, who will take over for Meyer for the 2019 season.
Day served as the team’s acting head coach when Meyer served his three-game suspension earlier this season and led the team to a 3-0 record in those games.
But was he athletic director Gene Smith’s first choice? An interview with Eleven Warriors revealed Smith had four other coaches in mind as potential replacements for Meyer.
A new report revealed which coaches Smith was looking at. According to a report from the Toledo Blade, the Ohio State AD had these three coaches in mind, plus an unnamed NFL coach.
Unwittingly in Smith’s scope were former Toledo and current Iowa State coach Matt Campbell, former Bowling Green and current Syracuse coach Dino Babers, retired Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, and a current NFL coach, an industry source told The Blade.
Matt Campbell and Bob Stoops were the obvious candidates – we posited the same names here. However, Babers is an intriguing candidate that found success at Syracuse.
The Orange took advantage of Smith’s decision to hire Day rather than Babers by locking up their coach with a significant contract extension.