One of the most successful careers in college football history is set to come to a close as Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer announced Tuesday morning that he will retire from his position. Meyer will coach the Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day and then step down.
Ryan Day, the team’s offensive coordinator, will step in as the new head coach beginning next season, according to CBS Sports.
The 54-year-old Meyer coached Ohio State for seven seasons, with a record of 85-9, including a 55-4 mark in the Big Ten. During Meyer’s tenure, Ohio State was also undefeated against its archrival Michigan.
But Meyer’s time at Ohio State was also marked by controversy, including an episode earlier this year in which it became clear that Meyer was aware of spousal abuse accusations against one of his assistants, Zach Smith, but had not acted upon them. Meyer was suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season, returning afterward to coach the remainder of the team’s schedule. Meyer had stepped in as coach following the departure of Jim Tressel, who lost his job in a bizarre scandal involving memorabilia and tattoos.
Meyer has also dealt with health problems in recent years. He has been bothered by headaches due to a cyst on his brain, which required surgery in 2014, and Meyer had stepped down from his previous job as coach at the University of Florida for health reasons, which included frequent chest pains.
Ohio State will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon for Meyer’s retirement and Day’s hiring.
Urban Meyer is an Ohio native, although he attended college and played football not at Ohio State but at the University of Cincinnati. Meyer served as head coach at Bowling Green and Utah before arriving in 2005 at Florida, where he coached the Gators to two national championships. After stepping down there, Meyer worked as an analyst for ESPN before taking over in Columbus at the start of the 2012 season.
The new coach, 39-year-old Ryan Day, was the Buckeyes’ offensive coordinator and coached the team to a 3-0 record during Meyer’s suspension. Day is a protege of college and NFL coach Chip Kelly, having played for Kelly as a quarterback at the University of New Hampshire and later serving on his staffs with both the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. Day, who had served as a graduate assistant under Meyer at Florida in 2005, joined Ohio State’s staff in 2017.