“The Ohio State University Department of Athletics is increasing salaries and benefits for the members of the football assistant coaching staff after a season in which the team won at least 12 games for the fifth time in six years...”
This news has been expected for a few weeks now, and it’s great that it is now confirmed that Greg Schiano ($1,500,000) and Ryan Day ($1,000,000) are the two highest paid assistants in Ohio State history, but what really jumped out to me is the $174,775 raise that Larry Johnson received. The defensive line/assistant head coach will now receive an annual salary of $750,000, making him the highest paid non-coordinator on the staff by $225,000.
On National Signing Day, Urban Meyer had said that Johnson had declined “hundreds” of opportunities to interview for other positions, and it’s nice to see his loyalty, expertise, and talent rewarded in a substantial way. There is no doubt that Johnson’s prowess working with defensive lineman has been an invaluable part of the Buckeyes’ success in recent years, but he is also one of the best recruiters on the staff; he’s a “relationship guy,” as Meyer likes to say.
Johnson, 65, had a storied coaching career even before he came to Ohio State, so if he wanted to go elsewhere and finally become a head coach— or heck, even a coordinator— there would be plenty of schools willing to accommodate him. But, the fact that he has stayed in Columbus since arriving in 2014, and continues to make his defensive lines some of the best in the country is of incredible value to the program.
Also of note in the salaries department, the newly promoted Day now makes more than his offensive coordinator colleague Kevin Wilson ($800,000), despite the former Indiana coach having seniority in the position. Linebackers coach Bill Davis ($500,000) was the only assistant to not receive a raise, after his unit struggled mightily all season. And, wide receiver coach Zach Smith is the lowest paid member of the staff, coming in at $340,000— still nothing to sneeze at.
Finally, while I am always happy to see people be rewarded for success and hard work, isn’t it time we start allowing players to be rewarded for theirs too?
“Kam Williams, the senior shooting guard who’s missed Ohio State’s last three games while serving a suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules, is expected to play Thursday.”
It is still unclear why Kam Williams has been suspended for the past three games, but there is no doubt that having him available for the stretch run will be of benefit for the Buckeyes, beginning with a trip to Happy Valley on Thursday.
Of course, OSU had one of its signature wins last week without him, as they knocked off then-No. 3 Purdue, with a significant contribution from his replacement Andre Wesson. The team also came back against Illinois and blew out Iowa sans Williams.
While the elder Wesson is expected to remain in the starting lineup for the Bucks, having a scorer like Williams available to come off of the bench will be a nice bonus. In their January loss to Penn State, the Buckeye bench scored only five total points. So, in the rematch tomorrow night, having Williams, Andrew Dakich, Micah Potter, and Musa Jallow will hopefully allow OSU to avenge their only conference loss of the season.
“After coming off of a brutal loss in which Ohio State let South Florida junior guard Kitija Laksa drop 41 points on it in an 84-65 loss, the team’s main focus was to bounce back — and bounce back it did.”
The No. 16 Ohio State women’s basketball team has had a bit of a rough go of it lately. At the end of January, they dropped a pair— to No. 10 Maryland (99-69) and Iowa (103-89)—, and then after four wins, were blitzed by No. 22 South Florida.
However, with three games remaining in the regular season, Ohio State is still in second place in the Big Ten, a game and a half behind Maryland. The season began with high hopes for the team, especially with All-American Kelsey Mitchell returning for her senior season, and the Women’s Final Four being played just down High Street at Nationwide Arena.
While there have been a few more bumps in the road to the hometown Final Four than head coach Kevin McGuff would have liked, ESPN’s Charlie Creme currently has the Scarlet and Gray as a No. 5 seed with room to improve. The Buckeyes have three winnable games heading into the B1G Tournament, and if the success of the men’s team has got you craving more Buckeye postseason basketball, this is as good a time as any to check in on the women’s team as well.
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