Connect with us

Sports

The Big Ten: 10 things you didn’t know about OSU head coach Ryan Day

614now Staff

Published

on

Each season of Buckeye football presents new faces, storylines, and expectations for fans to follow. While the quarterback position is typically at the top of all conversations, this season brings an added layer: who is this new coach?

Photos: David Heasley

His name is Ryan Day, and after a 3-0 start as interim head coach last year, he stands as the only undefeated coach in OSU’s history. Sure, it was a short stint, but the glimpses we witnessed were promising. His prodigy quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, went on to blaze the Big Ten and take down That Team Up North. But now, the pressure is on. There’s no Urban Meyer to step in week four—this is Day’s team. So before we flood the Shoe ready for another National Championship run, let’s get to know the new head coach.

1. In his college days, Ryan Day did more than just serve as the captain of his football team.

“The guys loved [Day]. In intramural basketball, he was the one that got the guys together. He put the team functions together; he was the guy doing it. He was setting up the Fourth of July get-together with his friends. I think it has to do a lot with his upbringing in Manchester. He was brought up by some great people that were able to show him important values of family and important values of friends,” said current University of New Hampshire head coach Sean McDonnell, who coached Day in 1999 to 2001.

2. Besides Day, Manchester, New Hampshire is home to two other college football coaches: Dan Mullen of UCLA and Chip Kelly of UCLA.

While at UNH, Day’s offensive coordinator was the offensive- minded Kelly. Following graduation, Day rejoined Kelly in the NFL with a short stint at the Philadelphia Eagles as the quarterbacks coach for the 2014-2015 campaign as well as serving as offensive coordinator under Kelly with the San Francisco 49ers from 2015-2016. “I played for him 10, 12 years ago and he’s one of my closest friends in college coaching. I can thank him for everything in football that I’ve had. He leaves an impact on people’s lives,” Day said, as reported by NJ.com in 2015 after joining the Eagles.

3. Day was in a quarterback competition in college. He won his spot in a very impressive fashion.

“One game that sticks out; we were down 31-3. Ryan was the quarterback against Delaware and we came back to win the game in overtime. He put the team on his back, made some great throws, made a few great scrambles, but everyone knew that he was running the show—and more importantly—we could win and he was telling us so,” said McDonnell.

4. Day’s age (40) puts him in an interesting class of other young Buckeye head coaches who went on to become legends at the university.

Paul Brown, who led the Buckeyes to its first National Championship, stands as the youngest at 33. Next in line is Woody Hayes, 38, and we’re guessing you’ve heard of him.

5. Day and his wife Christina first met as T-ball teammates when they were six and coached by Christina’s dad Stan Spirou.

Ryan and Christina both grew up in Manchester, New Hampshire, and graduated from Manchester Central High School. “I tell Ryan all the time that Nina was the better player, but he denies it,” Spirou said in the 2019 Spring OSU Alumni Association Magazine. Stan Spirou also coached the men’s basketball team at Southern New Hampshire University for 33 years. Ryan and Christina, who goes by the nickname Nina, have been married since June 2005.

6. This tight-knit family dynamic is something both Ryan and Nina hold close to their hearts.

“Since Ryan became OSU’s coach, we feel like our family has grown. We now have our Buckeye family that we need to nurture and support so they all have a chance to thrive on and off the football field. We feel truly blessed for our kids, our extended family and now our Buckeye family,” Nina told (614). Ryan, a father of three children, gives credit to Nina for always being there. “Nina is the rock who keeps our family strong and makes it possible for me to coach. You have no chance in this profession without a strong, supportive wife.”

7. Day was familiar with Urban Meyer prior to arriving in Columbus.

In 2005, Day served as a graduate assistant to the Florida Gators. When he got the call from Meyer to be the offensive coordinator of OSU in 2017, he didn’t think twice. “I would have walked here,” Day said, as reported by the Dayton Daily News in 2018.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

8. …And Meyer didn’t beat around the bush for expectations when Day took over the team.

“‘You beat the rival,’ Meyer told him. ‘Every other game you have to win as well. Every player has to get drafted in the first two rounds. No off-the-field issues, and never lose to that rival,’” reported Dan Murphy of ESPN in 2019.

9. While serving at Boston College initially as a wide receivers coach from 2007-2011, he eventually moved into the offensive coordinator position as well as the quarterback coach from 2013-2014.

While running the offense, the coach improved Boston College’s run game which was averaging 91-rushing-yards-per-game to 212.5-yards- per-game. This boost of 121.5 yards-per-game stands as one of the biggest turnarounds in ACC history, reports NJ.com in 2015.

10. The Days are passionate about mental health.

The mental health crisis across America’s campuses is real, and the Days are quite literally “changing the game” with their support of the “On Our Sleeves” movement at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Because of the loss of a family member to suicide and their concern for the mental and physical well-being of young people, the Days have started The Ryan and Christina Day Fund for Pediatric and Adolescent Mental Wellness to help increase awareness, programming, and treatment for mental issues that affect young people. Here, they share their reasons for championing this cause:

(614): What can you share about your own loss and adolescence that you think would be helpful for individuals and families facing mental health challenges?

Nina Day: When I was growing up, mental health wasn’t something people talked about. As an adolescent, I remember feeling different emotions and sometimes being very confused by them. But I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling, so I didn’t talk much about them. Today, thankfully, we’re more willing to talk openly about mental health issues like depression and anxiety. That’s so important because it gives people the confidence they need to seek help. I’ve learned, however, that even though someone may have a strong support network of friends and family, that may not be enough. Sometimes you need the help of a professional.

Ryan Day: I think it’s important for everyone to understand that mental illness is a sickness that needs treatment just like any other type of illness. I know it can be hard not to feel animosity toward someone suffering from mental illness. But the reality is that person is sick and needs help. Only by acknowledging this can we remove the stigma that’s so often associated with mental illness.

614: What made you choose this moment to tell your story and join the campaign?

ND: Our family has been directly impacted by mental illness, so it’s an issue that’s been very important to us for a long time. When Ryan became the head coach at OSU, it gave us the platform to really make a difference. So we’ve decided to take advantage of this opportunity to help people, especially adolescents and young adults, who are struggling with mental health issues.

RD: When I was recruiting in Massillon last year, the high school coach told me there had been five suicides in that community in less than one year. Those deaths inspired me to do research about suicide among teenagers and adolescents. I’ve learned that our country is in a crisis right now. We have a whole generation of kids who are struggling with mental health issues and need help, but they’re often afraid to seek it. When Nina and I heard about the “On Our Sleeves” campaign, we knew immediately that this was a great opportunity for us to help not just the city of Columbus, but the entire state of Ohio, as well. That’s why we committed $100,000 to create the Ryan and Christina Day Fund for Pediatric and Adolescent Mental Wellness at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

614: College athletics are obviously high pressure. What can teachers and coaches do to support student-athletes’ well-being?

ND: I think the most important thing a teacher or coach can do is be accessible to the student-athlete. Coaches and teachers should make themselves available and encourage their student-athletes to come to them to talk or ask for help. Ryan and I tell our kids that it’s OK not to feel OK. When they are sick with the flu or an ear infection, their body doesn’t feel good. But there may be times when their mind doesn’t feel good, and it’s OK to talk about it. Ryan will always be there for his players when they’re struggling, either physically or emotionally, just like we’re here for our own children.

RD: I think coaches and teachers should provide an environment that supports the mental health and well-being of student-athletes. This should be a place where student-athletes feel safe discussing their feelings and asking for help and support. I want my team to know I’ll be there for them if they’re hurting or need help.

To donate to the Ryan and Christina Day Fund, visit nationwidechildrens.org/giving/on-our-sleeves/about/day- family-fund.

Continue Reading
Comments

Sports

Decade in Review: Ohio State Football

Mitch Hooper

Published

on

Have the 2010s been the best in Ohio State football history?

When you’re in the midst of an athletic dynasty, sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses. The Ohio State football team has been on a tirade over the last 10 years, winning multiple Big Ten Championships, sending top-tier talent to the NFL, and of course bringing home a National Championship. Each season somehow exceeds last season’s expectations and now it seems every year is championship or bust. As we enter into another decade of Buckeye football it’s worth asking: has this been the best decade to date? In this case, hindsight is 2020, literally.

The first year of the new decade certainly didn’t predict the future. Following then-head coach Jim Tressel’s resignation amid the Tattoogate controversy, Luke Fickell was brought in as head coach in 2011 where the Buckeyes would finish the season 6-7, dropping a game to Michigan at the end of the season as well as losing to Florida in the Gator Bowl. Shortly after one down year, Urban Meyer was hired as head coach in 2012 where he quickly got the team back on track. Twelve wins, no losses, and a handful of “what if’s” due to the lingering controversy causing a one-year bowl ban.

The years preceding 2012 have been something akin to a collective chip on the shoulder to all of Buckeye nation. The 2013 campaign started hot, but fizzled out with losses coming from Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship, followed by dropping the Orange Bowl against Clemson. And just when it seemed like the Buckeyes were in the prime position to run the college football tables in 2014, senior quarterback Braxton Miller went down with an injury that would cost him a season.

How did the Buckeyes respond? Resoundingly.

Though the 2014 season holds a blemish with a home loss to Virginia Tech in week two, this squad went on to do the unthinkable. They dominated the Big Ten and found themselves in November just one game against Michigan away from a second year in the Big Ten Championship, and maybe even a shot in the first ever College Football Playoff system. Just like the beginning of the season, the team faced a test of overcoming an injury. JT Barrett, who would go on to become one of the most decorated quarterbacks in Ohio State history, was injured, and the Buckeyes were down to their third-string quarterback as they prepared for the biggest games of the season. The Bucks would go on to win the battle against the Wolverines, but the season-long war was back up in the air.

And again, the team responded. Cardale Jones, a redshirt sophomore quarterback, stepped into his role tremendously as the Buckeyes would go on to rout Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship, upset Alabama in the first round of the playoffs, and defeat Oregon to secure the first ever title of Undisputed National Champions.

Since then, the times have been good to Buckeye nation, aside from a few dropped games here and there. Sure, fans would like to forget those anomaly games like Purdue’s major upset against then-ranked No. 2 Ohio State. But the numbers don’t lie when you look back. Though Meyer’s stint as head coach was only seven seasons, he was able to secure three Big Ten Championships. And he never lost to Michigan, a badge no other Buckeye coach can wear. He also holds one of the highest win percentages of any Ohio State coach; second to current coach Ryan Day, whose sample size is still growing with only one year under his belt. In the past 25 years of Buckeye football, they have been able to achieve 16 seasons with 11 wins or more—seven of those seasons occurred during the 2010 decade. Additionally, the Buckeyes have been in the playoffs twice; a feat that no other Big Ten team can claim.

This doesn’t even begin to include the talent being drafted into the NFL each season. Let’s compare the 1970s to now. The ‘70s are widely accepted as one of the best decades in Buckeye football, with the ship being guided by legendary head coach Woody Hayes. Through that decade, the Buckeyes put 16 first-round draft picks in the league. In this last decade, the Buckeyes have put 15 first- round draft picks in the league and the 2020 NFL Draft hasn’t even happened yet. With names like Chase Young at the top of many expert’s boards, barring any unfortunate injuries, it’s safe to assume they’ll exceed that number.

Through all of these good times comes the cost of winning, and Ohio State seems to find itself at the center of many controversies over the last decade. The aforementioned Tattoogate in 2010 led to the third-winningest coach in OSU history’s resignation and a two-year probation. It also led to all the wins from the 2010 season being vacated. Former university president E. Gordon Gee stepped down in 2013 after insensitive comments relating to the University of Notre Dame and Catholicism. JT Barrett found himself the center of attention after being arrested for trying to avoid a DUI checkpoint in 2015. And while Meyer’s feats as head coach were impressive, the controversy that came with the Zach Smith domestic violence debacle created a cycle of events that eventually led to Meyer stepping down as head coach following the 2018 season. Toss in Chase Young’s recent run in with a loan and the NCAA handing out a suspension and it seems each season has two storylines: what happened on the field, and what happened off the field.

Truly, the cost of winning for the Buckeyes has been high. It seems each controversy could have led to the end of the dynasty, but instead, it seems the Buckeyes are able to reload much like the football team does on the field each year. Tressel was the third-most winningest coach in history; how do you replace him? Well, you do so with the second-highest win percentage coach in history. And if Day’s instant success as coach is any sign of the future, the next 10 years have all the potential to be even better.

Continue Reading

Sports

Big Macs and Bowl Games: Enter McDonalds sweepstakes for college football getaway

614now Staff

Published

on

Now that Ohio State has secured its bid to play in the 2019 College Football Playoffs, every fan across Columbus is vying for tickets to the Bowl Game. Lucky for you, McDonald’s has the answer.

Today, McDonald’s launches their Buckeye Bowl Game Sweepstakes in partnership with Ohio State Athletics, where one lucky winner will win a trip for two to the 2019 Fiesta Bowl Game on Saturday, Dec. 28, including prime tickets to the game, transportation to and from, plus hotel and travel accommodations.

Fans can enter the Buckeye Bowl Game Sweepstakes by purchasing a Quarter Pounder or Quarter Pounder with cheese from any McDonald’s in the greater Columbus area, either in restaurants or through their favorite delivery service. With each order, customers will receive a golden ticket with entry details, leading them to the sweepstakes website.

And the best part is for every submission placed, McDonald’s Owner/Operators of Columbus will donate $1 to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, helping them meet their annual fundraising goal.

“For McDonald’s, and for those of us as local business owners, it’s about more than selling burgers. It’s about creating a lasting impact in our community,” said Mike Telich, Columbus McDonald’s Owner/Operator in a statement. “Supporting RMHC is more than just a donation, its ensuring families with ill or injured children get the emotional and physical support they need, as well an alternative to the financial burden of staying at a hotel and going out for meals."

Continue Reading

Sports

The Big Ten: 10 reasons why Jim Harbaugh is an absolute nutcase

1870 Staff

Published

on

There’s no question Jim Harbaugh is a weirdo. He’s been caught picking his nose on the sidelines, he essentially wears the same outfit every single day no matter the occasion, and his personality is about as bright as a military general on cocaine. In other words, Harbaugh is set in his ways, and his ways are strange as shit.

But there’s more to this man’s madness than booger flicking and khaki pants. He’s a weirdo that wears many hats (but not many different variation of pants). And we have 10 reasons to prove it to you.

1.) Jim Harbaugh, the Spongebob fanatic.

To quote the coach on a radio show in Ann Arbor, “I love his attitude. He attacks each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind! I’ve kind of modeled my behavior after him. We all should. What a great employee he is. He’s a go-getter. He’s always got a bounce to his step. He’s got pizzazz. He puts his heart and soul into making those krabby patties. I think he’s awesome.” Uhhh, sure. Whatever you say, man.

2.) Jim Harbaugh, the house guest.

“Mom, can coach Harbaugh stay the night tonight?” Those were (probably) the words of Michigan’s current kicker, Quinn Nordin, as well as the defensive end from USC, Connor Murphy. In an effort to get the two recruits to commit to Michigan, Harbaugh took trips to visit the athletes. Perfectly normal. What’s not normal is Harbaugh crashing at the recruits house for the night. Dude, you are the third highest paid coach in college football. You’re either too cheap to buy a hotel, or you’re too odd to realize this was a weird ass move.

3.) Jim Harbaugh, the music man.

If you haven’t had the luxury of watching this music video, put this magazine down and pull up YouTube. Rap duo, Bailey, produced a Michigan hype song to promote the 2016 season titled “Who Has It Better Than Us?” which featured Harbaugh literally screaming those exact words for the chorus. This is just as much weird (Harbaugh’s rap career isn’t looking good) as it is ironic as the Wolverines would go on to lose to Ohio State and in their bowl game against Florida State. We can think of at least two schools that have it better than ya’ll…

4.) Jim Harbaugh, the conspiracy theorist.

He said they were a “nervous bird.” We’re not even gonna attempt to explain this. Here’s what a former Michigan quarterback, Wilton Speight, had to say to Bleacher Report about the hate against chickens: “He thinks some type of sickness injected its way into the human population when people began eating white meats instead of beef and pork. And he believes it, 100 percent.” … Riiiiight.

5.) Jim Harbaugh, the babysitter.

Turns out that fateful night he stayed with Connor Murphy wasn’t the first time. Harbaugh has stayed at the Murphy residence in the past, when he was a head coach at Stanford, to recruit Murphy’s brother, Trent. During the night, Connor and Trent’s mother went into labor forcing the father to take her to the hospital to give birth. As for Harbaugh and, at the time, 12-year-old Connor? Here’s what Connor told the LA Times: “Coach Harbaugh sat on my living room floor with me and we drank milk and played chess.”

6.) Jim Harbaugh, the patriotic music man.

If coaching doesn’t work, it seems like Harbaugh is eyeing a career in music. In 2016, rapper Lil Dicky came to Ann Arbor to preform. For reasons we have absolutely no way of understanding, Lil Dicky brought Harbaugh on stage to… sing the national anthem? And, as on brand as the mother fucker is, he was wearing those damn khakis for the performance. He probably flicked a few boogers backstage, too.

7.) Jim Harbaugh, the president?

Apparently rapper Wale and Jim Harbaugh are cooking something up for a presidential run. In 2016, Wale tweeted at the TTUN coach and endorsed him for a presidential campaign. Harbaugh responded back eager to bring Wale on as his Vice President. Let’s play a game, Buckeye Nation, would you rather have Trump as president, or Harbaugh?

8.) Jim Harbaugh, the khakis man.

We all know how much the man loves his Dockers, but do you really know how deep that love runs? The man worksout in his khakis. We’re sure that never gets too sweaty. The man swims—SWIMS!!—in his khakis. And he’s even been spotted running around the practice field shirtless showing off that pasty-white dad bod, but still in those damned khakis.

9.) Jim Harbaugh, the dietician.

We already know the man hates chickens, but did you know how much he loves cows? Almost as much as he loves khakis, believe it or not. Harbaugh is convinced that milk and steak are a “natural steroid.” Here’s what Harbaugh had to say about his affinity to “natural steroids” on a radio show in Ann Arbor: “I take a vitamin every day. It’s called a steak. … I truly believe the No. 1 natural steroid is sleep, and the No. 2 natural steroid is milk, whole milk. Three would be water. Four would be steak. [Steak] … it goes with everything.”

10.) Jim Harbaugh, the actor.

Why not? He’s a president, a singer, a rapper, a babysitter, and even a Spongebob stan. Of course he’s made a few appearances on television. The first time was on Saved By The Bell where he didn’t even get an excited “woo!” from the fake audience when he came on screen. Screech gets one every time he’s on camera and he’s a main character. The other time was when Harbaugh showed his true side on Detroiters for a skit. He loses his shit during a tailgating style game and ends up drilling the main character in the back of the head with a football. Okay so the Detroiters skit is actually kind of funny.•

Continue Reading

No mo’ FOMO

Missing out sucks. That's why our daily email is so important. You'll be up-to-date on the latest happenings and things to do in Cbus + be the first to snag our daily giveaways

Shop Now!

The Magazines

X