COLUMBUS, Ohio – The last time Ohio State had a coach recognized as Big Ten Coach of the Year was the same year Ryan Day was born: 1979. Earle Bruce won the only such award the Big Ten gave out at the time – the Dave McClain Coach of the Year Award – after an 11-0 regular season in his first year as Ohio State’s coach. Even with the addition of a second coaching award, the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year Award as chosen by the league’s head coaches, Ohio State still did not have a coach honored … for the past 40 years.
That drought is over as Day was named the Dave McLain Coach of the Year as recognized by the voting media on Tuesday. P.J. Fleck was named as the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year. It is the fifth time in 19 years two coaches split the coach of the year honors.
Day’s first year as head coach of the Buckeyes has been outstanding. He has led Ohio State to a 12-0 record, a Big Ten East title and date in Saturday’s Big Ten championship game against No. 10 Wisconsin. The Buckeyes, ranked No. 1 in last week’s College Football Playoff poll and No. 2 by the Associated Press, are powered by the nation’s No. 5 total offense, No. 1 total defense, No. 1 scoring offense and No. 4 scoring defense.
Ohio State’s prior Big Ten coaches of the year are Earle Bruce (1979) and Woody Hayes (1973 and 1975).
Young Earns Two Major Awards
Chase Young’s 2019 season is among the most dominant by a defensive player ever, and he added two items to his trophy case on Tuesday night. Young is the Big Ten’s Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year and Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Young is Ohio State’s 11th defensive player of the year, the most of any school, and its 12th defensive lineman of the year, also the most of any school. He’s also the 15th defensive lineman of the year coached by Larry Johnson, which is more than any program has in the Big Ten over the last 22 years.
While helping Ohio State have the nation’s No. 1 overall total defense (232.3 yards/game), Young leads the country in tackles-for-loss (2.0 per game), quarterback sacks (16.5 and 1.65 per game) and sack yards (117). He is second in forced fumbles (six) and TFL yards lost (122). Young’s 16.5 sacks is the most by a Big Ten player in 21 years.
The first Buckeye to record 10 or more sacks in multiple seasons since Mike Vrabel, Young set the school’s single-season sack record and currently ranks second in school history with 30.5. A team captain, he also has contributed 38 total tackles, four quarterback hurries and one pass breakup.
Ohio State had four players earn first team All-Big Ten honors: Young, LB Malik Harrison, SAF Jordan Fuller and CB Jeff Okudah. Senior CB Damon Arnette was a second team selection while DT DaVon Hamilton and CB Shaun Wade were third team honorees. Honorable mention selections were LB Tuf Borland, LB Baron Browning, DT Jashon Cornell, DT Robert “BB” Landers and LB Pete Werner.
Harrison is the Buckeyes’ leading tackler with 63 total stops (40 solo) to go along with 16.0 tackles-for-loss and 4.5 sacks. All three members of Ohio State’s secondary made an All-Big Ten team as the unit is currently ranked second nationally, allowing just 141.1 passing yards per game.
Haubeil Earns All-Big Ten Honors
The conference also announced its all-conference selections of special teams. Kicker Blake Haubeil, who is eight of 10 on field goals this year and a perfect 79-of-79 on extra points, was a third team All-Big Ten honoree. He made a career-long 55-yard field goal earlier this season at Northwestern, which is seventh-longest field goal made this season.
Hilliard Is Sportsmanship Honoree
LB Justin Hilliard, who has lost two full seasons of his career due to injury, is Ohio State’s Sportsmanship Honoree. The fifth-year senior from Cincinnati has come back in 2019 to make huge contributions on the field. In the last two weeks alone, he made his first career interception (vs. Penn State) and started the game at Michigan.
The conference will announce its All-Big Ten selections on the offensive side of the ball in addition to individual award winners and freshman of the year tomorrow evening at 5 p.m.