Ryan Day wasted no time in making changes to his staff following the 2021 season. Once the regular season concluded, the Ohio State head coach brought the hottest name among defensive coordinators to Columbus.

After an outstanding season at Oklahoma State, Day hired Jim Knowles to be the next defensive coordinator of the Buckeyes. Not only did the prestige of Ohio State lure Knowles out of Stillwater, a pretty nice contract sealed the deal.

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Knowles will be paid $1.9 million to be the defensive coordinator in Columbus — not a bad salary for a coordinator. Some were shocked at the high price tag while others attributed to the booming business of college football.

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What did athletic director Gene Smith think of it?

Speaking with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, Smith said he told Day to “do what he needed to do” in order to fix the defense for next season. On paper, Day accomplished that mission.

Ohio State’s suspect defense was costly in losses to Oregon and Michigan, preventing the Buckeyes from making a return trip to the B1G Championship Game and College Football Playoff. They also showed struggles in wins over Minnesota, Purdue and Utah.

Knowles wasn’t the only change made. Ohio State also hired Tim Walton to coach cornerbacks and Perry Eliano to be the next safeties coach. Those are steps Day hopes will lead to improvement on the defensive side of the football in 2022.