Ohio State football: What Ryan Day’s promotion, raise mean for Buckeyes

During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes address pressing questions on the minds of the Ohio State fan base with our daily feature. To ask Austin Ward a question, follow along on Twitter and suggest a topic right here. Check back Monday through Friday as we dive into the Ohio State Question of the Day. Go here to see all of our previous answers.

There was plenty to be learned by Ohio State’s unveiling of the new contracts for the coaching staff this week, but perhaps no member of that group has drawn more attention than Ryan Day. And there are plenty of good reasons for that, from the offseason interest in him from the NFL to his impact on the quarterback race and the speculation that he might one day make a fine head coach of the Buckeyes. In just the span of a year, Day has become one the hottest commodities on the coaching market ― and Ohio State did whatever it could to make sure it could keep him.

Dwayne Haskins-Ohio State-Buckeyes-football-quarterback-depth chart
The relationship between Dwayne Haskins and offensive coordinator Ryan Day could be key for Ohio State. (Land of 10/file photo)

Among those notable details in Day’s new deal: He was the only assistant given a 3-year deal, he hit the million-dollar mark as just one of two coordinators Ohio State has ever had at that level and incentives were built into his contract to reward him the longer he stays with the program. All of that reflects just how much confidence Urban Meyer has in Day, and the relationships the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator has built with Dwayne Haskins, Joe Burrow, Tate Martell and Matthew Baldwin  through his recruitment absolutely are part of that equation.

The memory of what went wrong when Tim Beck replaced Tom Herman surely has not been forgotten at Ohio State, but it’s unlikely that it played a significant role in the desire to keep Day ahead of the crucial battle to replace J.T. Barrett during spring practice and training camp. Continuity is valuable, no doubt about that. But quality coaching is more important, and if Meyer didn’t think he was getting that, either Day would have been encouraged to pursue those other opportunities or a vastly enhanced contract wouldn’t have been put in front of him to sign.

The dynamic with Kevin Wilson, of course, is the other key factor as the coaching staff begins gearing up for another championship bid in 2018. Meyer long has preached that importance of the “Ohio State offense” as a whole and working collaboratively as a staff to implement it on game day. But it’s difficult to look at the title promotion for Day and the fact that he’s now making $200,000 more than Wilson and not see that as a notable change in the pecking order. Wilson, for his part, has been in the business for a long time, is respected among his peers, is still being handsomely compensated and obviously remains a crucial part of the staff. Odds are, he’s not going to bristle at this setup since Wilson, Day and Meyer all will still have their hands on the offense.

But so far, Day has been the offseason star. And he’s going to be squarely in the spotlight when practice resumes next month and his second year with the program kicks off with one of the most closely watched quarterback competitions in the country.

Read more answers to questions about the Ohio State Buckeyes here

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