Ohio State could have chosen a former head coach to serve as acting head coach after the decision to place Urban Meyer on paid administrative leave Wednesday, pending an investigation into a report Meyer knew about domestic abuse allegations against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith in 2015.
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The Buckeyes have Greg Schiano, who coached at Rutgers and in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Kevin Wilson, the former Indiana head coach, on staff.
However, Ohio State went with Ryan Day, the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Here are five things to know about Day:
1. New position: Day has never been a head coach. He started his career in 2002 at his alma mater New Hampshire as a tight ends coach. Ohio State is the fifth college where he has coached. He also spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers.
2. Relatively young: Day is 39 years old. Meyer was 47 when Ohio State hired him in 2011. Luke Fickell was 38 in 2011 when he served as interim coach after the resignation of Jim Tressel, who was 48 when he got the head coaching job at Ohio State in 2001.
3. New addition: Day joined Meyer’s staff in January 2017. He replaced Tim Beck, who left to work on former Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman’s staff at Texas.
Day first crossed paths with Meyer in 2005 as a graduate assistant at Florida. Meyer was the head coach. Dan Mullen, who’s from Day’s hometown, Manchester, N.H., was the offensive coordinator.
When Meyer called Day about the job opening in 2017, he didn’t hesitate to take it.
“I would have walked here,” Day said. “It’s a great place to be.”
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4. Big decision: Day played a part in helping Meyer pick a starting quarterback going into the 2018 season. Dwayne Haskins beat out Joe Burrow and Tate Martell in the spring.
“I think with a quarterback a lot of it leadership and some of the effect they can have on the team,” Day said in April. “It isn’t just taking a ball and throwing it. There’s a lot that comes with it. We talk all the time about competitiveness, leadership, toughness, football IQ and decision making. All of those things go into it. All of those things go into the culture of your offense, the culture of your team.”
5. Playing career: Day played at the University of New Hampshire from 1997-01 and was a three-year starter. He ranks fourth in school history in passing yards (7,670). His offensive coordinator was Chip Kelly, who he would later coach under with the Eagles.