COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State football coach Ryan Day’s contract extension and raise, approved Thursday by the school’s Board of Trustees, also gives the school extra security as well.
Per the terms of the new contract, Day’s buyout if he were to leave before Jan. 31, 2021, now stands at $3.5 million, plus whatever OSU must pay to terminate the contracts of non-retained assistant coaches. That buyout amount decreases by $500,000 each year through the end of the 2026 season.
Prior to the extension, Day’s buyout stood at $2 million, decreasing by $500,000 annually until the end of the contract.
If Ohio State terminates Day’s contract without cause — in other words, if it fires him for losing as opposed to NCAA or other policy violations — it will owe him the remaining balance of his contract.
The amended contract also adjusts the schedule for retention bonuses due to Day. He will now be paid $250,000 if he remains Ohio State’s coach on Jan. 31 of 2022, 2024 and 2027.
Per the amendment obtained by Cleveland.com via an open records request, Day signed the agreement on Jan. 24. Ohio State announced the extension earlier this week, pending board approval. The Board of Trustees’ Talent, Compensation and Governance committee approved the contract on Wednesday.
Day received a salary bump to $5.375 million for 2020, $6.5 million for 2021 and $7.6 million for 2022. Raises in the final four seasons are to be determined by athletic director Gene Smith and the Board of Trustees.
Only four coaches nationally made $7.5 million or more in 2019: Clemson’s Dabo Sweeney, Alabama’s Nick Saban, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher — all of whom have won national championships — and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh.
Day originally signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract to succeed Urban Meyer following the 2018 season. He led the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record in his first season, including a Big Ten championship and a return to the College Football Playoff after a three-year absence. Day was the first OSU coach named Big Ten Coach of the Year since 1979.
Day’s early tenure has also included recruiting success. Ohio State’s 2020 signing class ranked fifth in the 247 Sports national composite, headlined by three five-star prospects: receivers Julian Fleming and Jaxon Smith-Njigba and offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. Ohio State’s in-progress 2021 recruiting class ranks No. 1 nationally.
Ohio State has not released contract details for its assistant coaches for the coming season.
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