Meyer Now Locked Up Through 2022

By Jeff Rapp, April 5th, 2018

When scandal hit the Ohio State football program, causing popular coach Jim Tressel to resign under pressure in 2011, the mess was left to Luke Fickell to be caretaker.

The former Buckeye linemen and highly respected OSU assistant was named coach, the “interim” title removed, but as the Buckeyes slogged through what would become a 6-7 season it was very clear athletic director Gene Smith needed to find a new head coach who checked all the boxes.

Enter Urban Meyer.

A former Ohio State graduate assistant, northern Ohio native and once-upon-a-time baseball prospect who attended the University of Cincinnati, Meyer was the slam-dunk choice. However, the university would need to pay handsomely to pull pull him out of the broadcast booth.

Heading into the 2018 season, it’s safe to say Meyer has lived up to the lofty expectations. He’s an astonishing 73-8 at Ohio State in six seasons with a national championship and a pair of Big Ten titles. The Buckeyes have tied for or won a division title in each of Meyer’s six seasons at the helm, including the 12-0 campaign of 2012 that ended without a Big Ten Championship Game appearance or postseason bowl because of inherited NCAA sanctions.

With that type of success rate, it was only a matter of time before Meyer again be rewarded with a contract extension and pay raise. Sure enough, the university announced on Thursday that there is an agreement in place for Meyer to receive two additional years which would keep him as OSU head coach through at least the 2022 season.

Meyer will receive an approximate $1.2 million raise as part of the extension to his contract. His total salary for the 2018 season will be $7.6 million, which will make him the highest paid coach in the Big Ten Conference and move him to third nationally.

The deal still needs approval by the Ohio State University Board of Trustees, which is expected to be a mere formality. In fact, a committee of the board approved the contract extension for a vote on the full board agenda on Friday.

“I want to thank President Michael V. Drake for his guidance and the Board of Trustees for its work in considering this extension,” said Smith, who also holds the title of Senior Vice President of the school along with AD. “I think everyone will agree that we have one of the finest coaches and mentors in Urban Meyer leading our football program.”

Along with guiding the Buckeyes to late-season games of significance, Meyer also has a gaudy mark of 47-3 in league play, which moves Ohio State into the all-time lead in the Big Ten with 504 conference victories and with a winning percentage of .720 (504-124-4).

Ohio State won the inaugural College Football Playoff national championship in 2014 under Meyer – the eighth national title in school history and first since 2002 – and in addition to Big Ten titles in 2014 and 2017, has won the 2015 Sugar Bowl, the 2017 Fiesta Bowl and the 2017 Cotton Bowl, a 24-7 victory over No. 8 USC to cap last season.

Ohio State is tied for the fewest losses in the nation since Meyer took over and the 73 wins are second-most since the start of the 2012 season.

Most Wins – 2012-17
1. 76 – Alabama
2. 73 – Ohio State
3. 72 – Clemson
4. 66 – Florida State
5. 63 – Oklahoma

Fewest Losses – 2012-17
1. 8 – Ohio State
8– Alabama
3. 11 – Clemson
4. 15 – Florida State
5. 16 – Oklahoma

Meyer also has produced 33 NFL draft picks the last five years, including 10 first-round picks and record numbers of selections through the second (seven), third (10) and fourth (12) rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft.

In addition, the Buckeyes have found success off the field and in the classroom. His players have earned five academic All-American honors the past four years, one National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete award and the team had its highest fall academic semester grade point average in over eight years last fall. Additionally, 34 team members earned Academic All-Big Ten honors last fall.

Meyer also boasts successful stints at Bowling Green (17-6), Utah (22-2) and Florida (65-15) and is now the winningest active coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision, with an .851 winning percentage and a record of 177-31. He is the third-winningest coach in Division I football history, trailing only Knute Rockne and Frank Leahy.