position Head Coach
Hometown Manchester, N.H.
The Ohio State University
Ryan Day is in his second full season as head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. He enters the 2020 campaign with a career record of 16-1, a 10-0 mark in Big Ten Conference games, a Big Ten championship (2019) and a College Football Playoff appearance (2019).
Day is the first Ohio State coach in 40 years to be named Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year, and he earned the honor in 2019 by coaching, developing and leading one of the best teams ever in school history. His 2019 Buckeyes were dominant, winning 13 consecutive games by an average of over 36 points per game while ranking in the Top 5 of 12 major NCAA statistical categories, including No. 1 in total defense, No. 1 in pass defense and pass efficiency defense, No. 1 in offensive third down pct. and No. 4 in total offense.
His 2019 Buckeyes became the first Big Ten team ever to win three consecutive outright Big Ten titles and the team advanced to the College Football Playoffs for the third time in the six-year playoff history. Day’s 13 victories in 2019 are tied for the most by a first-year FBS head coach and he is the first coach to win 13 games without the benefit of a bowl victory. The Buckeyes were ranked among the nation’s Top 5 in 14 of 16 weeks.
Individually in 2019, Day coached a third consecutive Big Ten Quarterback of the Year (Justin Fields) and his program featured the first 2,000-yard running back in school history (J.K. Dobbins), two Heisman Trophy finalists (Fields and Chase Young) – only the sixth time this has been accomplished – and four first-team All-Americans (Wyatt Davis, Dobbins, Jeff Okudah and Young). He was considered for virtually every national coach of the year honor and was named the first-year Coach of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America.
Passing the whistle
Sometime around 6:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on January 1, 2019, Ryan Day had a whistle placed around his neck by retiring head coach Urban Meyer in front of the team after its 28-23 Rose Bowl Game victory over Washington. The head coaching tenure of Day at Ohio State University had officially begun.
Technically, Day’s first day on the job was Jan. 2, but that moment in the locker room at the Rose Bowl in front of 124 players, including more than 100 who would be a part of his first team, will have the lasting impact of origination for the 41-year-old from Manchester, N.H., who became just the 25th head coach for a storied program that ranks second all-time in victories and has played 130 football seasons.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Day said that evening in the locker room. “To be the leader of such a special place, a special group of men, this program, Buckeye Nation … it is an honor!”
Day started his head coaching career with a record of 3-0. He is credited with the wins earned over Oregon State, Rutgers and 15th-ranked TCU at the beginning of the 2018 season when he served about eight weeks in August and September as Ohio State’s acting head coach.
Day received a three-year contract extension in February 2020 that will keep him on the sidelines as head coach of the Buckeyes at least through the 2026 football season.
A quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 under Chip Kelly and in 2015 for the Philadelphia Eagles under Kelly, Day is now in his 19th season as a coach in the NFL or collegiate ranks. He was Ohio State’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2017 and 2018.
The impact Day has had on the program in such a short time has been considerable.
No team has more passing touchdowns the past three seasons than the 138 that Ohio State quarterbacks have thrown in that time. Ohio State also ranks 11th over the past three seasons in passing yards per game (296.7) and third in completion percentage (67.8).
Day’s Ohio State offenses have scored 234 offense touchdowns – second-most nationally – and their average of 523.8 yards per game is third best. The Buckeyes have topped 500 yards in total offense 27 times and 600 yards nine times under Day.
Ohio State is 38-4 and has won eight championships in Day’s three years with the program: three consecutive Big Ten Conference championships; three Big Ten East Division titles; the 2018 Cotton Bowl and the 2019 Rose Bowl.
In 2018 Ohio State ranked second nationally in total offense and passing yards, and No. 8 in scoring. It established Big Ten Conference records for offensive yards per game (535.6), passing yards (5,100), passing yards per game (373.0), touchdown passes (51), completions (396) and total plays (1,131).
Individually, quarterback Dwayne Haskins was a Heisman Trophy finalist who became just the sixth player to throw 50 touchdown passes in a season. He was named the Chicago Tribune Silver Football award winner as the Big Ten’s best player and he was also named the Big Ten’s offensive player of the year and its quarterback of the year.
Also in 2018, wide receiver Parris Campbell this year became just the fifth Ohio State receiver to top 1,000 receiving yards in a season, and running back J.K. Dobbins became the first Buckeye to top 1,000 yards rushing as a freshman and sophomore.
Day was Ohio State’s 2018 nominee for the Broyles Award, which goes annually to the top assistant coach in the country.
The 2017 season was Day’s first in Columbus and it also proved to be a success. His starting quarterback, J.T. Barrett, was a finalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback of the Year Award and he was named the Big Ten’s quarterback of the year after a season in which he set seven school single season records and broke the Big Ten Conference career mark for touchdowns responsible for with 147.
Additionally, Ohio State’s offense was fifth nationally in passing efficiency in 2017, sixth in scoring and eighth in total offense, plus it led the Big Ten in rushing, passing efficiency, scoring and total offense.
Dec. 4, 2018
On the same day that legendary coach Urban Meyer announced his retirement – Dec. 4, 2018 – Day was named to succeed him.
“I am truly honored to be here today and am so appreciative to President Drake and Gene Smith for the faith they have in me to lead this team,” Day said at a packed press conference at the Fawcett Center on Ohio State’s campus. “I love this program and its student-athletes and I want Buckeye Nation to know how hard we are going to work to ensure this program remains the very best in the country.
“I also want to say ‘thank you’ to coach Meyer. His coaching wisdom and his elite ability to motivate and prepare a team is something everyone on this staff not only appreciates, but learns from and carries forward. I am grateful for the two seasons I’ve had as a part of his staff.”
As an NFL quarterbacks coach, Day worked with Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert in 2016 with the 49ers and he helped Sam Bradford to a record-setting 2015 season with the Eagles as he completed 65 percent of his passes – an Eagles single-season record – and threw for 3,725 yards. Both figures were career highs at the time for Bradford.
In addition to his two NFL seasons as a quarterbacks coach, Day has 15 years of collegiate coaching experience, including offensive coordinator positions at Temple and Boston College, as well as positions with Florida – as a graduate assistant under Meyer – and at his alma mater, New Hampshire.
He coached receivers for a year under Al Golden at Temple University (2006) and for five seasons at Boston College (2007-11). Day worked three years as Steve Addazio’s offensive coordinator: in 2012 he ran the offense and coached receivers at Temple and in 2013 and 2014 he was quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Boston College.
In 2014, Day’s Boston College offense ranked second in the ACC and 21st nationally with 254.4 rushing yards per game, and in 2013 Eagle running back Andre Williams rushed for more than 2,000 yards on his way to unanimous All-America honors while being named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
Day’s Boston College assistant coach experiences – he has coached there on three separate occasions – include the 2007 season when quarterback Matt Ryan threw for over 4,500 prior to becoming the third overall pick in the 2008 draft.
Day is a native of Manchester, NH. He was a three-year starting quarterback at New Hampshire when Chip Kelly was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He was a team captain as a senior and earned his degree in business administration in 2002. He has a master’s in administrative studies from Boston College (2004).
Day, and his wife, Christina, who is referred to as “Nina,” have three children: Ryan Jr. or “RJ”, Grace and Ourania or “Nia”.
Ryan Day Quick Facts
Hometown: Manchester, N.H.
High School: Manchester Central
Alma Mater: New Hampshire
Degree: Business administration
Master’s: Administrative studies (Boston College)
Year in Coaching: 19th (Fourth at Ohio State)
Wife: Christina (“Nina”)
Children: Son R.J., and daughters Grace and Nia
Ryan Day Coaching Records
Versus Top 25: 5-1
Versus Big Ten: 10-0
Big Ten Championships: 1 (2019)
CFP Appearances: 1 (2019)
Ryan Day Coaching Assignments
|2019-pres.||Head Coach||Ohio State|
|2018||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks||Ohio State|
|2017||Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks||Ohio State|
|2016||Quarterbacks||San Francisco 49ers|
|2013-14||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks||Boston College|
|2012||Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers||Temple|
|2007-11||Wide Receivers||Boston College|
|2003-04||Graduate Assistant||Boston College|
|2002||Tight Ends||New Hampshire|