COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State University Department of Athletics is increasing salaries and benefits for the members of the football assistant coaching staff after a season in which the team won at least 12 games for the fifth time in six years while winning a Big Ten Conference championship and a Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic championship with a decisive victory over No. 8 USC.
Ohio State was the only program in the nation last year - and the only school in the last five years - with a Top 10 ranking in both total offense (7th) and total defense (9th). The assistant coaching staff's combined salary was only 13th nationally, but that ranking should change this year with the additional funds to the salary and benefits pool, including an $800,000 salary for the new 10th assistant coach, Alex Grinch.
There were 15 assistant coaches around the country making at least $1 million in salary in 2017, and two Ohio State assistant coaches will reach that total this year for a first time. Associate head coach and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will make $1.5 million in the coming year while offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day will make $1 million per year on a new three-year contract. Both coaches were pursued by NFL teams and Division I programs during the off season. Increases for all assistant coaches will total $3.4 million.
"The reality is we have to compensate people consistent with the expectations and their performance," Gene Smith, Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director, said last week. "I am incredibly pleased with the performance of these coaches, year after year, and I'm certain Buckeye Nation is, as well."
Each of Ohio State's 10 assistant coaches are expected to be among the top three in salary at their respective position within the Big Ten Conference for 2018.
Ohio State Assistant Coaching Staff Salaries and Increases for 2018
Greg Schiano - $700,000 in 2017 to $1,500,000 in 2018: $800,000 increase
Ryan Day - $400,000 in 2017 to $1,000,000 in 2018: $600,000 increase
Kevin Wilson - $650,000 in 2017 to $800,000 in 2018: $150,000 increase
Alex Grinch - $800,000 in 2018
Larry Johnson - $575,225 in 2017 to $750,000 in 2018; $174,775 increase
Tony Alford - $450,000 in 2017 to $525,000 in 2018; $75,000 increase
Bill Davis - $500,000 in 2017; $500,000 in 2018
Greg Studrawa - $410,000 in 2017 to $500,000 in 2018; $90,000 increase
Taver Johnson - $345,000 in 2018
Zach Smith - $300,000 in 2017 to $340,000 in 2018; $40,000 increase
Discussions are underway on two-year contract extension for head coach Urban Meyer that will keep him on the Ohio State sidelines at least through the 2022 football season. The extension is expected to be voted on in April by the Ohio State Board of Trustees.
Meyer, who made $6.43 million in base salary in 2017, is 73-8 through his first six seasons as Ohio State coach, including a 47-3 record in the Big Ten with six consecutive divisional championships. Meyer's Buckeyes have the second-most wins in college football since 2012 and the eight losses are tied for the fewest in that time. Ohio State won the inaugural College Football Playoff national championship in 2014 and it has won two Big Ten titles plus a Sugar Bowl and a Fiesta Bowl, in addition to the Cotton Bowl title to cap 2017.
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