Six games into his tenure as Ohio State Buckeyes head coach — or nine if you count the three games he coached last season during Urban Meyer’s suspension — Ryan Day already is dealing with the NFL question.
Here’s how it was phrased Tuesday during Day’s weekly press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center:
“I think since the moment you got here there have been teams linking you to the NFL,” a reporter said. “If the Redskins or somebody called right now, what would the response be?”
“I appreciate you asking,” Day said. “And I think being in a place like Ohio State, anytime there’s success, things like this are going to come up. I don’t really ever want to talk about any of that stuff. I love it here. This is where I want to be. Whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, even for the next five, 10, hopefully 20 years, while I’m here I really don’t want to comment on any of that because I don’t think it’s good for anybody.”
Day later confirmed the Washington Redskins, who fired head coach Jay Gruden on Monday, have not contacted him. It’s a comment he might have to make often in the years to come, especially if he keeps winning. Day is not only 9-0 as a head coach, he has won every game by at least 12 points, and he has won every game this season by at least 24.
The Buckeyes reached 6-0 with a 34-10 victory Saturday against Michigan State at Ohio Stadium. Halfway through the regular season, with an off day Saturday, they rank third in the country in scoring offense (52.4 points per game) and fourth in scoring defense (8.6).
» HALFWAY POINT: Where do Buckeyes stack up?
Day has made it look easy, which is why the NFL questions were inevitable, but he does not intend to change jobs again after three moves in three years from 2015-17 with the Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and then the Buckeyes.
“That was not good,” Day said, “and that’s the thing that I don’t know if people realize. You have to move your family. We have a young family. When you’re moving them all over the place, it is the worst thing to go home to your family and tell them we’ve got to move again. They’ve got to be the new kid again and your wife has to figure out a new set of friends again. It’s just not good. Certainly Nina and I didn’t grow up that way. We grew up in the same house for our whole lives and all our families still back in our hometown. And that was a hard time for us. I said, ‘Never again.’ I don’t want to do it anymore. She said the same thing. That was the decision that we made.”
Day took over the program from Urban Meyer after the Rose Bowl in January. He has a five-year contract through the 2023 season and earns $4.5 million per year.
While Day still has to prove himself over a full season, he couldn’t have gotten off to a much better start.
“He’s who you want to work with,” co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said. “When you look at this profession, you want to work with guys who have great character, that care about players more than anything, that are very, very genuine. They’re not egotistical. They’re looking at being the best football coach they can be and the best person, the best father, the best husband. To me, that’s as good as it gets. That’s who he is.”
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