May 21, 2024

In Columbus, Ohio, it appears that Ohio State football coach Ryan Day is considering relinquishing control of his offense by hiring a new offensive coordinator, as reported by Football Scoop. Day has reportedly informed his assistants about this decision, aiming to bring in someone who can assess the existing staff and potentially make new hires. While the report does not specify whether Brian Hartline, the receivers coach and first-year offensive coordinator, will assume a co-coordinator role, it assures that Hartline’s position should be secure.

This move would represent a significant departure from Day’s previous contemplation of relinquishing play-calling duties a year ago. The plan involves appointing a “head coach of the offense,” mirroring the structure Day established with Jim Knowles on the defensive side. Such a transition would likely relieve Day of day-to-day oversight of the offense, positioning him in a more chief executive-like role.

Last season, Day hesitated to step back from controlling the offense due to the staff makeup. Despite Hartline’s impressive achievements and growing reputation, granting full control to a first-time coordinator without play-calling experience amid a quarterback competition among two first-time starters seemed impractical. None of the other offensive staff members had prior play-calling experience either.

Ohio State's Cotton Bowl performance was embarrassing, and if Ryan Day  doesn't make major changes, he has to go - Land-Grant Holy Land

Introducing new offensive coaches would inevitably lead to the departure of someone currently on the staff. This potential personnel change is expected to unfold in the coming weeks, emphasizing that who exits the staff is less crucial than how Day chooses to replace them.

Historically, Day has promoted from within, as seen with Corey Dennis and Parker Fleming. However, recent challenges, including instability at quarterback and issues with communication and execution on special teams, suggest that internal promotions from the quality control (QC) ranks may be ruled out this time. Instead, Day may opt for experienced and seasoned individuals, as he did with the hiring of Knowles, Walton, and Eliano for the defensive side.

With the stakes rising, given the departure of the athletic director who hired him and the high buyout, Day faces a critical decision for the future of Ohio State football. The report suggests that Day needs to find someone with a proven track record in both play calling and oversight, essentially searching for another version of himself. The urgency stems from the potential impact on Day’s coaching future, especially considering the pressure to avoid a fourth consecutive loss to Michigan and the need for a successful postseason.

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