NCAA

It (Literally) Pays to be an Ohio State Football Assistant Coach

The Ohio State Buckeyes are a perennial powerhouse in college football.

Since the Buckeyes first suited up in 1890, they’ve evolved into one of the most successful programs in history. Ohio State has won 924 games, good for second place on the all-time wins list behind only their rival, the Michigan Wolverines. OSU is tied with Michigan for the best all-time winning percentage at .729. In 1,344 games, the Buckeyes are 924-326-53.

They’ve won eight national championships, the most recent coming in 2014. The Buckeyes have claimed 38 Big Ten championships and have 10 undefeated seasons to their credit. The football program in Columbus is valued at more than $1 billion, one of the richest in the country.

With that kind of money floating around, it stands to reason that the head coach would make a nice chunk of change, which he certainly does. However, it’s not just the top guy that’s raking in the bucks. On March 9, 2020, the Buckeyes released the salaries of their assistants and the numbers are staggering.

How much money does Ohio State football head coach Ryan Day make?

When Urban Meyer left Ohio State following the 2018 season, co-offensive coordinator Ryan Day was promoted to the head coach position. Day had been in Columbus for two seasons after a stint in the NFL under Chip Kelly and promptly led the Buckeyes to an undefeated season. Ohio State went 13-0 this past year on their way to the Big Ten title. However, the Buckeyes would lose to Clemson in the College Football Playoff, a 29-23 loss in the Fiesta Bowl.

With success comes a big paycheck and Ryan Day is certainly bringing those in. In 2019, he made $4.5 million, which is actually a little low given the program’s success. However, his salary will go up with his new extension. Day will bring in more than $6 million in 2020 with bonuses. His salary ranked 22nd in the country in 2019. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney led the way, bringing in more than $9.3 million.

Four Ohio State assistants make more than $1 million

The head coaching position at Ohio State isn’t the only one that carries a high salary. The assistants for the Buckeyes are breaking the bank as well. This year, OSU will become the first school in history to have four assistants making more than a million dollars per season.

In total, Ohio State football will pay its assistants a total of just under $8 million in 2020. Leading the way will be co-defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs, a former assistant with the Buckeyes that has returned to Columbus after a stint with the Tennessee Titans. Coombs will make $1.4 million.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson comes in just under that at $1.2 million. Greg Mattison, the other co-defensive coordinator, and defensive line coach Larry Johnson will each make $1.133 million in 2020, up about $200,000 from their 2019 salaries.

Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa will make $700,000. Running backs coach Tony Alford will earn $618,000. Wide receivers coach Brian Hartline will make $550,000. Linebackers coach Al Washington will bring in $515,000. Special teams coordinator Matt Barnes will earn $450,000. New quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis will make $300,000 in his first year with the Buckeyes.

How much does the average assistant make?

Of the more than 1,300 assistant football coaches in Division I in 2019, only 24 made more than $1 million, according to the USA Today database.

Just 166 of those more than 1,300 made $500,000 or more. The vast majority of assistants in Division I range from $100,000 to $400,000. The bigger the program, the bigger the checks. Those top four assistants for the Buckeyes will actually make more money in 2020 than approximately 40 head coaches did in 2019. It pays to be an assistant for the Ohio State Buckeyes.