Rob Oller | Ryan Day seems intent on stability, growing deep roots at Ohio State

Rob Oller
Ryan Day moved his family three times in three years before coming to Ohio State in 2017. [Adam Cairns]

Ryan Day is here to stay. That’s the message the Ohio State coach delivered Tuesday among whispers that the Washington Redskins might pursue Day to fix what ails them.

As rumors go, this one made sense from the Washington side — the Dwayne Haskins Jr. connection — but not from Day’s point of view. Why? Job security. What was it that former Ohio State president Gordon Gee said of former OSU coach Jim Tressel? “I’m just hoping that the coach doesn’t dismiss me.”

Turns out both Gee and Tressel eventually got the hook, but the point is that super successful college coaches are better situated for long-term stability than any NFL coach not named Bill Belichick. (I know what you’re thinking, that Dallas coach Jason Garrett has lasted nine years with the Cowboys, but that’s only because owner Jerry Jones is the real coach. Look closely and you can see puppet strings attached to Garrett’s shoulders.).

Job security matters to Day. A lot. Not because he worries about not being able to pay his electric bill, but because he has been through the hell of having to tell his wife and kids to pack up and start over. Job changes meant Day, 40, moved his family from Boston College (2013-14) to Philadelphia (2015) to San Francisco (2016) to Columbus (2017).

Tired of having dandelions with deeper roots than his own, Day aimed his career path toward a more stable setting.

“When we had to move our family three times in three years — that was not good,” he said of his decision to veer from the NFL toward college. “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.”

Day explained that he and his wife, Nina, each grew up in one place. Moving station to station was not something to consider.

“I don’t want to do it anymore,” he said of living out of a suitcase. “She said the same thing. That was the decision that we made.”

Will that decision be tested? My sense is not anytime soon. Does that mean three years? Five? Ten? Never say never, right? But Day sounded resolute in his stance to stay the course in Columbus. If he keeps winning, especially if Ohio State keeps beating Michigan, there is no reason he will be asked to leave.

“Being in a place like Ohio State, anytime there’s success, things like this are going to come up,” he said. “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.”

By the way, Day said Washington had not contacted him. Maybe Redskins owner Daniel Snyder isn’t used to being told no?

Snyder is Jerry Jones without the Super Bowl rings. He is rich, arrogant and ignorant of how to successfully operate a championship franchise. And he does the hiring and firing. Does Day want anything to do with that? I would think not. Why would the former QB-turned-king-of-his-court risk an overthrow?


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