With Urban Meyer announcing his retirement Tuesday afternoon, he will cast an unmatched shadow in Ohio State history. The decision comes after a season in which the university suspended him for three games and he revealed that he was suffering from a cyst in his brain.
Sitting here in early December, it's hard to know what this means for Ohio State, Penn State and the Big Ten East on the field and in the distant future.
Less than a year later, he was hired at Ohio State. And because he's an OH native and popular figure in the state, it only makes sense to project Meyer having interest in the open Cleveland Browns position. "But there will be a time". He added he had no intentions of coaching anywhere else but Ohio State. Naming Day as Meyer's successor shows a commitment to continuity with the staff for 2019 and beyond. Ohio State will officially name Day as the permanent replacement on Tuesday. He's a second-year Ohio State assistant who had never before been a head coach.
Kelly is now the head coach at UCLA. Co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day will become the team's 25th head coach after the Rose Bowl game.
There will be people who think Ohio State is above hiring an assistant coach. Meyer considered Bruce, a former Buckeyes head coach who died in April, his mentor and a father figure in the coaching world.
The news of Urban Meyer's retirement at Ohio State shouldn't come as a shock to anybody. After a months-long investigation from 2015-16, no charges were filed.
The report also indicated that Meyer used medication that affected his memory.
It is expected that Meyer will cite his health as the reason for his departure. He has experience at every level of football-from FCS to the NFL-and has worked for Meyer for nearly three seasons (one as a graduate assistant at Florida). He came to Ohio State in 2017 after coaching for 17 years in the National Football League and college level.
Amid the scrutiny on Meyer's program, it also emerged that Zach Smith's treatment of his wife had drawn police scrutiny almost 10 years ago - shortly after Meyer first took him on as a graduate assistant at the University of Florida. Health was a factor then, too, but not the same issues that affected him this season. In 2016, Ohio State was No. 3, while United Kingdom was No. 28.
This season, Ohio State is 12-1 and won the Big Ten conference title, but it did not make it into the final four of the College Football Playoff which will decide the national champion.
So might Meyer's exit help Kentucky's recruiting? The Buckeyes did drop 62 points on archrival MI, which coming into the game boasted the No. 1-ranked defense in the nation. Under Day's tutelage, quarterback Sam Bradford completed 65 percent of his passes, throwing 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with the Eagles in 2015.
Meyer won three national championships overall, including two at Florida. And not many teams are out there flawless. First, other programs began to lap at his heels, then the defense fell apart, allowing 49 or more in three of the final six road games of Meyer's tenure - 54 to Iowa past year, 49 to Purdue, and 51 to Maryland - at the same time that off field issues surrounding Zach Smith surged to the forefront.
"I am truly honored to be here today and am so appreciative to President Drake and Gene Smith for the faith they have in me to lead this team", Day said. I thought something else was going to happen on the sideline before we were able to get to this day.
But there are plenty of good high school football players in the state to go around. And no disrespect to the other Bowl games, because they're awesome, but the Rose is the one we've always looked forward to.
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