Salary of Ohio State’s Ryan Day ranks 12th overall among college football coaches


Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, front left, shakes hands with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, front right, after an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. Ohio State won 56-27. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Jim Harbaugh is winless against Ohio State in his five seasons as Michigan’s football coach, but there is one area in which he is beating the Buckeyes:

His salary.

Harbaugh is the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten, according to USA Today’s annual list of college football salaries, released Wednesday. It puts his total pay at $8,036,179, which is also the fourth-highest among all coaches. Harbaugh’s overall record at Michigan is 47-18, including 1-4 in bowl games.

His counterpart at Ohio State, Ryan Day, is due to make $5,651,694 in his second full season leading the Buckeyes. In 2019, Day went 13-1, including a 27-12 win over Michigan on the road. The loss was to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl, a College Football Playoff semifinal game.

Like all coaches, Day has a contract that includes several incentives not included in his total pay, such as player academic performance and success on the field. If Day were hit all of his incentives, his total pay would increase $1.225 million. In future seasons, his base pay will be $6.5 million in 2021 and $7.6 million in 2022.

Harbaugh’s next chance to defeat the Buckeyes for the first time will come Dec. 12 , when the rivals meet at Ohio Stadium.

USA Today lists Day as the 12th highest-paid coach overall, but it may be one lower because the exact total pay of Penn State coach James Franklin is unknown. His scheduled pay is $6.7 million, based on a financial term sheet provided by Penn State, but his actual contract has never been released.

The top three highest-paid coaches are Nick Saban of Alabama ($9.3 million), Ed Orgeron of defending national champion LSU ($8.9 million) and Dabo Swinney of Clemson ($8.3 million).

Many coaches agreed to pay cuts related to the COVID-19 pandemic — for example, Day will receive $101,570 less this contract year — but even with the reductions, 16 coaches will still receive over $5 million in total pay.

At the other end of the spectrum are coaches like Ohio University’s Frank Solich. His total pay, in his 16th season leading the Bobcats, will be $561,431. That ranks 109th out of 119 schools that have total pay listed.

The entire list of college football salaries can be found here.

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