Adam RittenbergESPN Staff Writer
INDIANAPOLIS — Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith on Friday denied a report that Urban Meyer doesn’t expect to coach past the 2019 season and could hand his duties to offensive coordinator Ryan Day.
Football Scoop reported, citing anonymous sources, that Meyer has informed Smith that he expects to step down before the 2020 season. The website also reported that Day, a candidate for several head-coaching vacancies, will remain at Ohio State with a sizable salary raise and an “unwritten understanding” that he likely would succeed Meyer as Buckeyes head coach.
“Have seen [the report] and been asked, no truth to it,” Smith wrote in a text message to ESPN’s Heather Dinich. “Urban and I have not talked about that.”
Meyer said, “No comment on that,” when asked Friday at the Big Ten championship game news conference whether he wanted to remark on the report.
Meyer called Day “elite” and said “there will be a time and a space” for him to become a head coach, but that Day’s focus remains on Saturday’s title matchup with No. 21 Northwestern.
Day, 39, has been mentioned as a potential candidate for head-coaching vacancies at Colorado and Maryland. He also likely would be considered at Kansas State if Bill Snyder steps down, according to sources.
A source close to Day told ESPN on Friday that he isn’t withdrawing his name from consideration for coaching opportunities this year.
Football Scoop reported that Meyer would address his future shortly after the Big Ten championship game.
Meyer, 54, has repeatedly said he will coach next season. He also has addressed his health, specifically the enlarged congenital arachnoid cyst on his brain that causes “aggressive headaches,” according to his personal physician. Meyer has kept Smith informed about his condition.
“It is a medical issue,” Meyer said last month. “We’re just managing through it. We’re working hard.”
Meyer’s cyst is unrelated to the health issues that caused him to take a leave of absence from Florida after the 2009 season and step down as Gators coach after the 2010 campaign. He worked as an ESPN analyst in 2011 before accepting the Ohio State job on Nov. 28 of that year.
ESPN’s Heather Dinich contributed to this report.