COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer will retire after the Rose Bowl, forced to end his coaching career by a cyst in his brain that has grown in recent years, caused him regular headaches and made him fear for his long-term health.
Ryan Day, the offensive coordinator who led the Buckeyes while Meyer was suspended for three games at the start of the season, will take over as Ohio State’s new full-time head coach.
Ohio State will hold a news conference at 2 p.m.
The news comes as no surprise, as retirement was one of the options available to Meyer as he battled the cyst, which caused him to drop to a knee on the sideline during the Indiana game. Meyer had brain surgery to drain the cyst in the spring of 2014, and another surgery is an option for treatment. But Meyer knew he couldn’t go on the way things were this season.
Meyer is 82-9 at in seven seasons at Ohio State, with a 7-0 record against Michigan and three Big Ten titles. Seven years was the longest he lasted at any of the four schools where he coached, following two seasons as Bowling Green, two at Utah and six at Florida.
At Florida, he retired in similar fashion after the SEC Championship in the 2009 season, then unretired and stayed at Florida for one more year.
It’s unlikely that’s the case now. Meyer, 54, told cleveland.com and three other reporters in a meeting in his office earlier this season that he wanted to remain the Buckeyes coach, and he would for as long as his health allowed it.
He has decided his health will not allow it.
Day will ascend to the job after his trial run at the start of the season. Athletic director Gene Smith is a big fan of Day, 39, who has been at Ohio State for two seasons. Smith is hoping to catch a smart young coach on the rise, much as Oklahoma did when Bob Stoops retired before the 2017 season and Lincoln Riley took over, leading the Sooners to playoff berths in his first two seasons.