According to an interview with Eleven Warriors, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith compared Ryan Day against four other coaches to replace Urban Meyer before officially deciding on the 39-year-old Buckeyes offensive coordinator.
“I had a bigger list, but it came down to (four) that I was comparing (Day) against,” Smith said Thursday.
Per the report, two were college coaches, one was an NFL coach, and another is currently out of coaching. But at the end of the day, Smith didn’t need to make any outside calls with Day being the clear choice, expressing “high confidence” in the 25th head coach in school history.
In fact, Smith had already made the decision three weeks prior to Meyer’s retirement announcement.
“Obviously, if I didn’t have a Ryan Day, I’m going for a public search,” Smith said. “But the guy’s a stud.
“I had to come to that ‘come to Jesus’ moment,” he added. “When I did that, I had no second thoughts, and I still don’t have any second thoughts.”
Day, who went 3-0 as the team’s interim coach when Meyer served his three-game suspension earlier this season, will replace an Ohio State legend went 7-0 against Michigan, lost nine games in seven years and gave the program its first national championship in over a decade.
Ohio State will play Washington in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day in what will be Meyer’s last game coaching. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. EST on ESPN.