College Football Playoff semifinal win brings more bonuses for Ryan Day, Buckeyes coaches

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State coach Ryan Day has earned $500,000 in bonuses after leading the Buckeyes to the national championship game against Alabama.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day is eligible to add $100,000 in bonuses after the Buckeyes defeated Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinals on Friday and advanced to the national championship game.

Day already had been set to pick up $400,000 in bonus payments this season, including $150,000 for winning the Big Ten’s East Division and conference championship game, according to a copy of his contract obtained by The Dispatch through a public-records request. The other $250,000 in bonuses was tied to reaching the four-team playoff.

He will end the season with $500,000 in total bonus pay as there is no additional amount owed to the second-year coach if the Buckeyes prevail over Alabama on Monday and capture a national championship.

In the fall, Day took a voluntary pay cut related to the coronavirus pandemic that equaled $236,778 over the fiscal year, which runs through June, but will still make just over $6 million over the span from his base salary and other supplemental payments.

Due to financial pressure caused by the pandemic, the Ohio State athletic department faces a sizable budget shortfall this year and projected a nine-figure deficit in September. Despite the stress, coaches have remained eligible for lucrative bonus payments.

The rest of Day’s coaching staff, which includes 10 on-field assistants and strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti, is set to bring in a combined $3.37 million in bonuses this season.

With the semifinal win over Clemson, they added bonus amounts equal to 4.25% of their base salaries.

Their total bonus pay eligibility equals 38.25% of their base salaries, including 25.5% for a national championship appearance, as well as 8.5% for a division title and 4.25% for a conference title.

The school has said the percentage is calculated from their original base salaries, not their pay that was reduced following voluntary pay cuts.  

Defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs, who is the Buckeyes’ highest-paid assistant with an annual salary of $1.4 million, is to net the largest bonus worth $535,500 that surpasses Day's total.

Before the semifinal win, the staff had been set to see a combined $3.12 million in bonuses. Like Day, they are not eligible for further bonuses after reaching the playoff final.