When the Ohio State Buckeyes hired Urban Meyer prior to the 2012 season, no one had any idea how long he would remain in Columbus. Six seasons into his time leading the Buckeyes, it still doesn’t look like it will be anytime soon.
Whether athletic director Gene Smith thought it was the right time to give Meyer an extension or it being due to other coaches negatively recruiting (and lying) about Ohio State, it seems as though the head coach will receive a contract extension through the 2022 season along with a pay raise, Meyer mentioned while talking to the media on Wednesday.
“That’s never come from me and we’re going to sign an extension here soon because the university has been good enough to extend something to me. And so I think that that’s all down the road news, but I plan on — I feel great and I don’t know, once again, for someone to bring that up in recruiting, I don’t, that’s easy to fight against because it’s not true,” Meyer said. “So I don’t know where — how many more years are you going to coach and all that, I feel fantastic. The program’s healthy and we’re going, so — and I’m going to, I’m going to get some more years put on my contract.”
Why’d the two-year extension get brought up on National Signing Day, you ask? When Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was recruiting the No. 2-ranked offensive tackle in the country and best player in Ohio, Jackson Carman, he told the kid that Meyer was on the back half of his career and Swinney himself was just starting up. The negative (and untrue) recruiting was one of the few reasons why Carman chose Clemson over Ohio State.
Meyer’s most recent contract, which the school extended in 2015, kept him at Ohio State until 2020. The additional two-year extension that is expected to be official in April will keep him around a little longer. In 2017, Ohio State paid Meyer $6.4 million, fourth-most in college football according to USA TODAY. Although he was fourth, the head coach made almost almost $4.7 million less than Alabama’s Nick Saban, $2.5 million less than Swinney, and $600,000 less than Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh. Add in that Jimbo Fisher just signed a 10-year deal to be the head coach at Texas A&M that guarantees him (at least) $75 million over the span of the contract, and Meyer seems due for a pay raise, along with his extension.
Although Meyer’s extension is expected to keep him in Columbus until 2022, the amount of his raise yet to be determined. Keep in mind, Smith has made it known that some coaches’ salaries are “ridiculous”, including what Alabama is paying Saban and the contract that Fisher just signed with the Aggies. He talked about the outrageous contracts around college football during Ohio State’s Board of Trustees’ Talent and Compensation meeting, per The Lantern’s Colin Hass-Hill.
“I don’t even put Texas A&M in our sphere because I’m considering Urban [Meyer]’s situation with three years left on his contract,” Smith said during Ohio State’s Board of Trustees’ Talent and Compensation Committee meeting Thursday. “Talking with [Susan Basso, vice president of human resources] and [Joanna McGoldrick, associate vice president of total rewards], that’s not even someone that we’re comparing with because it’s so ridiculous.
“It’s the same way with Alabama and their total salary. Take it off the sheet because it doesn’t matter. Because it’s just no value to it. It’s a reactionary type of management.”
No matter the amount, Meyer deserves a pay raise, especially with the way other coaches are getting paid around college football. Either way, the extension along with a pay raise is not only well deserved, but will keep one of the best coaches in college football in Columbus for the foreseeable future. It will also force opposing coaches to stop negatively recruiting against Meyer. The raise won’t be a massive amount, but it will most likely be one that will put a little more money in his bank account.
When you have a head coach that has compiled a 73-9 record, keeping him around is important. Ohio State seems to be doing just that.