Urban Meyer retiring: Ryan Day is the outsider Ohio State football needs as its new coach
Day was a quarterback for Chip Kelly and former NFL offensive assistant
After the, Ohio State fans have turned their attention to the Buckeyes' future with offensive coordinator Ryan Day becoming the program's next head football coach. Though he's been a coaching since the early 2000s, Day just arrived on Meyer's staff in 2017.
If there's some hesitation on the part of Buckeye fans to hand over their trust to Day, there should not be. Day didn't just get passing grades for his three games as interim coach at the beginning of the season -- while Meyer was serving a suspension -- and then inherit one of the most coveted jobs in college football. He has been preparing himself for a moment, or a job, like this for some time.
Day, 39, is one of the several coaches we've seen quickly make the transition from college player to respected offensive coaching mind. A former record-setting quarterback for Chip Kelly at New Hampshire, Day linked up with his former coach and mentor in the NFL with the Eagles and 49ers before becoming co-offensive coordinator at Ohio State. Prior to that, Day spent three years as Steve Addazio's offensive coordinator at both Temple (2012) and Boston College (2013-14). Addazio is a Meyer disciple who served as his offensive line coach and later offensive coordinator at Florida.
Day's stint at Boston College was the launching point for a respected offensive position coach to start getting the attention of those outside of the New England area. The Eagles had their most productive offenses since Matt Ryan was under center, one year basing the attack around 2,000-yard rusher and All-American running back Andre Williams and then shifting the identity the next season with dual-threat quarterback Tyler Murphy transferring in from Florida. Murphy went on to break single-season school and ACC records for rushing yards by a quarterback, and the Eagles knocked off then top-10 USC at home en route to a 7-5 regular season.
As we start to play out the next couple of seasons at Ohio State, Day benefits from the time he spent both before the year and in the season as the Buckeyes' acting coach. Not only did he deal with the day-to-day game week responsibilities, he got an intimate look at the pieces who will be needed to keep the program successful under his tenure. That's why it came as no surprise when early reports began to indicate that he plans to keep several current staffers in place, including strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti -- widely assumed to to be the secret sauce for OSU's continuing pipeline of pro prospects.
Day follows Meyer's lead as an offensive mind, but he's from a different generation. With the future College Football Hall of Fame coach stepping down, university leadership had the advantage of being able to turn to a new, younger model of the same coaching prospect.
What Day brings in his experience from the NFL but also an outsiders perspective from someone who didn't grow up in the state of Ohio and the shadow of this program's lore. After the events of the last six months, an outsider might be just what the program needs at the top.
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