On the same day he returned to the field, a report has surfaced as to what might happen when Urban Meyer steps away permanently.
With Meyer suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season, Ryan Day served as the acting head coach in his boss’ absence, guiding the nationally-ranked Buckeyes to a 3-0 record amidst a sea of off-field turmoil. Upon his return, Meyer lavished praise on the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.
Because of the job he did amidst very trying circumstances, the 39-year-old Day, who has never been a head coach at any level, is expected to see his name prominently mentioned when the 2018 version of the coaching carousel inevitably starts spinning next month. Ahead of that, one report has OSU potentially setting up an arrangement that would make Day the head coach-in-waiting (HCIW) for whenever the 54-year-old Meyer retires.
From The Athletic‘s Ari Wasserman:
A person close to the program told The Athletic that senior university officials have begun discussions about a “coach-in-waiting” arrangement, meaning he would be Meyer’s eventual successor as Buckeyes coach. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions are in progress. Day doesn’t have any head-coaching experience but did have a three-game trial run as Ohio State’s interim coach.
The HCIW has had varying degrees of success over the years, although it’s become a relative relic of late.
It worked out for Wisconsin (Barry Alvarez to Bret Bielema) and Florida State (Bobby Bowden to Jimbo Fisher, even as FSU officials botched its execution). The one at Texas, expected to go from Mack Brown to Will Muschamp? Not so well after Muschamp took the Florida job two years after accepting the HCIW tag.
How it’d play out for OSU, with Meyer being closer in age to Brown than Bowden, is the great unknown. What is known is that Day will be one of the hottest coaching commodities in the coming months, and the Buckeyes will have to do something creative to keep him on the coaching staff.