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Part 2: The coaching changes from the Urban Era to the Day Era

January 12, 2019

We all know the legacy Urban Meyer is leaving at Ohio State. Meyer took over in 2012 when the program was practically in limbo. The Buckeyes were coming off of a 6-7 record with interim head coach Luke Fickell. A year after, the program fired Jim Tressel for tattoo gate. Once taking over in 2012, Meyer has only lasted seven years; however, those seven were just short of perfection. The feats that were accomplished in those seven years are as follows:

  1. In 2012, finished a perfect 12-0

  2. Finished 7-0 against archrival Michigan

  3. Finished 1st (or tied for first) place in the B1G East/leaders division every year

  4. 4 trips to the B1G Championship in Indianapolis

  5. 3 B1G Championships

  6. 7 New Year’s six bowls/ BCS bowls

  7. 2 College Football Playoff appearances

  8. Inaugural CFP National Championship

  9. 83-9 record and 54-4 B1G record in 7 years leaves Meyers average at (11.8 wins -1.2 losses; 7.7 B1G wins-0.6 B1G losses)

 

This is a pretty remarkable list, and I could have gone further. The coaching tree he brought under him at Ohio State is another amazing list that includes Tom Herman (HC Texas), Chris Ash (HC Rutgers), Luke Fickell (HC Cincinnati) and Mike Vrabel (HC Tennessee Titans).

 

This chapter now comes to an end as Meyer will step down as head coach and will take over as assistant athletic director for the Buckeyes under Gene Smith.

 

So that leaves college football fans around the world asking, “what now?”. Well we do know that Ryan Day is now the head coach, but a lot of questions swirl around the hire. Day has never had a head coaching job at any level other than the interim title he held for the first three games of this past season.

 

The fact that Day’s only down side on his resume might be the lack of head coaching experience, could show the potential Ohio State has even with Meyer leaving. I say, "might" be a downside because having a coach with a chip on his shoulder and having to prove he is the guy could be exactly what Ohio State needs. Day knows he will be judged more than ever on his first year. When you have to take the job of your mentor who was arguably the greatest coach in the program’s history, a lot of pressure is added.

 

If you’re a Buckeye fan you should be confident in the situation based on the fact that Meyer wanted Day to take over and said, ‘if he didn’t think Day was the right guy” he would have spoken up.

The coaching changes have been quick with a big splash at almost every hire.

 

1. Mike Yurcich- QB coach from Oklahoma State for the past 6 years. His offenses were ranked top 10 for the last three years. With Dwayne Haskins leaving but Tate Martell and Justin Fields battling for a job leaves Yurcich in good hands for year one.

 

2. Brian Hartline- Interim WR coach last year. With the whole craze on Zach Smith before the season, Brian Hartline stepped in and led possibly the greatest wide receivers class Ohio State has ever seen. K.J. Hill just announcing he was staying for his senior year should help Hartline with the incoming 5-star recruit in Garrett Wilson.

 

3. Greg Mattison- DL coach for Michigan for the past four years and has been helping Michigan’s defense the past eight seasons. Mattison is announced as a co-defensive coordinator and will be able to help...

 

4. Larry Johnson has been at Ohio State, coaching the defensive line for the past five seasons. With 5-star recruit Zach Harrison coming to fill the Bosa brother void, expect Johnson to possibly finish out with Harrison and retire happily. Keeping Johnson was key to growing the soon to be young defensive line.

 

5. Jeff Hafley- DB coach for the San Francisco 49ers for the past three seasons. Greg Schiano gave high praise to Hafley and this move ends up biting Schiano in the butt. Hafley will replace Schiano as co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach.

               

               a. Mattison will probably coach the front seven as co-coordinator while Hafley will coach the secondary. This might possibly be the first time you will see this in football.

 

6. Al Washington- Linebackers coach at Michigan last year. He is a strong recruiter and grew up in Columbus. To flip two highly talented coaches from Michigan to Ohio State makes you scratch your head and wonder what’s going on up in Ann Arbor?

 

All of these coaches coming back or joining this two-time defending Big Ten Championship team with a coach out for blood has to be a deadly thought for teams that have Ohio State on the schedule in 2019. Expect a rejuvenated offense and a defense that will be feared.

 

-Part 2- 

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