OSU Rewards Coordinators' Loyalty with $1M Deals

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The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)


It is a prosperous time to be an Ohio State assistant football coach, especially for those who have been courted by the NFL.

After rejecting reported overtures from pro teams recently, defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and offensive coordinator Ryan Day will become the first Buckeyes assistant coaches to break the $1 million salary threshold.

Schiano, who was rumored to be a candidate to join the New England Patriots, will earn $1.5 million in base salary in 2018, Ohio State announced on Wednesday. Schiano made $700,000 last year.

Day, whose name surfaced in connection with the Tennessee Titans, will make $1 million.

Day made $400,000 in 2017 in the first of a two-year contract that called for him to make $800,000 in 2018.

Schiano and Day aren't the only assistants getting significant raises. All of the returning coaches except linebackers coach Bill Davis will get a bump in pay.

Ohio State's other offensive coordinator, Kevin Wilson, will make $800,000 in 2018, a raise of $150,000. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson ($575,225 to $750,000), running backs coach Tony Alford ($450,000 to $525,000), offensive line coach Greg Studrawa ($410,000 to $500,000) and receivers coach Zach Smith ($300,000 to $340,000) also received raises.

Davis, whose unit struggled at times, will make $500,000, the same as in 2017.

New defensive coach Alex Grinch will make $800,000, as previously reported, and just-hired cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson will start with a salary of $345,000.

Ohio State's assistants will make an average of $706,000, an increase of more than $200,000 from last year. The bumps come at a time when assistant coaches' salaries have skyrocketed nationally. Fifteen made at least $1 million last year, including Don Brown, Pep Hamilton and Tim Drevno at Michigan.

According to OSU, its assistant coaches' salaries ranked 13th in the country last year.

"The reality is we have to compensate people consistent with the expectations and their performance," Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said in a release. "I am incredibly pleased with the performance of these coaches, year after year, and I'm certain Buckeye Nation is as well."

Ohio State assistant coaches' salaries have risen significantly since Urban Meyer was hired as coach. Assistants made a combined $2.26 million under Luke Fickell in 2011. Meyer requested a bump in pay for his first staff, which made a total of $3.22 million in 2012, an average of just under $358,000. His 2018 staff will make almost double that.

Day signed a three-year contract. Grinch, Alford, Larry Johnson and Taver Johnson have two-year deals. Terms for the additional years in those contracts have not been released. Schiano, Wilson, Davis, Studrawa and Smith have one-year deals.

Meyer is in the process of getting a two-year contract extension that will run through 2022. The university's board of trustees is expected to vote on the extension in April.

Meyer made $6.43 million in base salary last year. Gene Smith said last week that Meyer's extension would not put him in range of Alabama's Nick Saban, who made $11.1 million last year, or Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher. Fisher left Florida State to sign a 10-year contract worth a reported $75 million.

brabinowitz@ dispatch.com; @brdispatch

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February 15, 2018


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