Some pretty huge Ohio State football coaching news was reported this evening, with Ari Wasserman of The Athletic breaking the news that the Buckeyes are discussing a plan to make assistant Ryan Day the “head coach in waiting” for Urban Meyer.
Meyer, of course, returned to Ohio Stadium today following his three-game suspension. Day was the Buckeyes’ interim coach during Meyer’s absence and led Ohio State to a 3-0 start to the season, including a big win last week against TCU.
Day has been praised a lot by Meyer this week for the job he did.
“It’s a job very well done,” Meyer said of Day after today’s win against Tulane. “It’s a healthy, strong program, and Ryan was exactly the guy we needed to lead it and get us through this, and he did a hell of a job.”
So, what does this “coach in waiting” news mean for Urban Meyer’s future at Ohio State.
Not a lot – yet, anyway.
Meyer is under contract for roughly another decade. He recently signed a new extension that made him one of the highest-paid college football coaches in history. He seems to be very, very happy in Columbus, despite just going through a three-game suspension.
“My love for Ohio State is unwavering, never more so now,” Meyer said earlier this week.
We’ve seen plenty of head coach in waiting situations before, too, and they almost always play out differently.
- Jimbo Fisher was named the head coach in waiting at FSU and took over the Seminoles’ program when Bobby Bowden retired, leading the team to a national title
- Will Muschamp was named the head coach in waiting at Texas, but left for the Florida head coaching job
- Mike Hopkins was the head coach in waiting at Syracuse for several seasons, but Jim Boeheim later reneged on his retirement timeline and remains the program’s head coach. Hopkins took the Washington head coaching job last offseason.
So, Buckeyes fans, regardless of how you feel about this news, don’t freak out about it. Odds are, the situation will play out differently than you’re imagining. That’s what history tells us with the “head coach in waiting” situations, anyway.