Ryan Day has reached $450,000 in bonuses, could add more

Joey Kaufman
Coach Ryan Day leads the Ohio State football team onto the field for the Big Ten championship game Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. [Joshua A. Bickel]

Ryan Day will receive at least $450,000 in bonuses from his first full season as Ohio State’s football coach, according to a copy of his contract obtained by The Dispatch through a public-records request.

Day picked up a majority of the bonus payments over the weekend as the Buckeyes clinched a spot in the College Football Playoff.

As outlined by the contract’s incentive structure, he is eligible to receive $250,000 if the Buckeyes reach the semifinals of the playoff, a four-team field that was revealed Sunday. A victory over Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game on Saturday netted Day a bonus of $100,000.

Day previously positioned himself to receive separate bonuses of $50,000 for a Big Ten East title and Big Ten coach of the year recognition.

His base salary this season is $4.5 million, a smaller figure compared with his predecessor, Urban Meyer, who made $7.6 million in his final season in 2018 as one of the highest-paid coaches in college football.

If the Buckeyes beat Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl and reach the national championship game, Day will receive another $100,000.

An appearance in the national title game puts him in line for a $350,000 bonus, which replaces his $250,000 bonus for a semifinal appearance. He is not eligible for a bonus for a national championship.

Other head coaches for teams that reached the College Football Playoff were also headed for hefty paydays, led by LSU coach Ed Orgeron.

According to a tally from USA Today, Orgeron will receive more than $1 million in bonuses, while Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley were up to bonus payments of $400,000 and $300,000, respectively.


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