Ryan Day is the head coach of the Ohio State University Buckeyes. He assumed the role on January 2, 2019, after former coach Urban Meyer stepped down.
Day joined the staff in 2017 as an offensive coordinator. He also served as acting head coach for the first three games of the 2018 season.
Day has been coaching football for the entirety of his professional life. But before stepping into that role, he put up impressive stats as a high school and college player in his home state of New Hampshire.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Ryan Day Set High School Records as a Quarterback
Ryan Day is a New Hampshire native. He graduated from Manchester Central High School in 1997.
During his high school years, Day made a name for himself as a standout quarterback. According to the New Hampshire Union Leader, Day earned recognition statewide for his performance. He had 4,099 career yards, 57 touchdown passes and led his team to a state championship.
Former coach Jim Schubert told the newspaper, “He was beyond his years as a high school quarterback. Extremely intelligent about the game. He was an easy-going guy, but once he put on a helmet, he was just driven to win.”
2. Day Was Recognized During His Senior Season as One of the Best High School Student-Athletes in the Country
Ryan Day was honored with a distinctive title during his senior year of school. He was named Gatorade Player of the Year in New Hampshire.
The award goes to a player who also shows a commitment to education. The following description is included on the home page of the award website:
“We expect more from our athletes, that’s why the Gatorade Player of the Year program recognizes the nation’s most outstanding high school student-athletes for their athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character. That’s what makes this award the most prestigious honor in High School sports.”
3. Ryan Day Was a Three-Year Starter at the University of New Hampshire
Ryan Day went on to play at the University of New Hampshire. He continued in his role as quarterback and was the starter for three seasons.
His college coach was none other than Chip Kelly, who went on to coach the Philadelphia Eagles. Years later, Day joined Kelly’s staff in Philadelphia in 2015 as a quarterback coach. Kelly now coaches at UCLA.
In the years since his own college career, Day has described Kelly as a mentor. When Day was named as the interim head coach of the Buckeyes ahead of the 2018 season, he told the Lantern that he got a text message from Coach Kelly. “He says, ‘you’re built for this.’ That’s what he told me. And that’s the thing I keep going to every morning when I wake up, is that I’m built for this.”
4. Day Set Multiple Records at New Hampshire; His Record for Pass Attempts During a Single Game Has Never Been Surpassed
Ryan Day continued his record-breaking streak during his time as a New Hampshire Wildcat. In a 2001 article in New Hampshire news outlet SeacoastOnline.com, Day was described as “the unquestioned leader of the UNH football program and potentially the greatest quarterback ever to wear the Wildcats uniform.”
Despite that praise, Day appeared to remain humble. In that same article, Day expressed gratitude for his playing time. “Coming in here I was just hoping to maybe play for a year and earn a scholarship. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be starting for three years and really making a key contribution like I have the last few years.”
Day’s breakout season was his sophomore year. According to the university’s website, Day completed 221 of 364 passes during the 1999 season. He threw for 2,573 yards and 18 touchdowns that year.
Day set nine school records during his college career including for touchdown passes, total offense and pass completions. One of his records has never been broken, for pass attempts. Day made 65 pass attempts during a single game in the 2000 season.
5. Ryan Day Began His Coaching Career at the University of New Hampshire
Ryan Day got his professional career started at his alma mater. He began as a tight ends coach at the University of New Hampshire in 2002.
He moved on to Boston College after one year and served as a graduate assistant there. In 2005, Day worked under Urban Meyer as a graduate assistant at Florida.
Day’s father-in-law Stan Spirou, the longtime head basketball coach at Southern New Hampshire University, praised Day’s capabilities in now taking the reins at Ohio State. He told the New Hampshire Union Leader that Day has always been competitive, as both a player and a coach. “He wants to win whether he’s playing cards or out in the backyard playing basketball.”