Urban Meyer will step down as Ohio State’s head football coach, effective at the end of the 2018 season.
Offensive coordinator Ryan Day will take over as the new head coach, effective on January 2, 2019.
The move doesn’t come as a shock – there had been significant speculation about Meyer’s future in the wake of health concerns, and the University’s response to the Zach Smith situation.
Still, it marks the end of the most successful era in Ohio State football history.
Following the Big Ten Championship Game, Meyer is 82-9 as the Buckeyes’ head coach, not counting the team’s 3-0 start during his suspension in 2018.
He won at least a share of the divisional title in all seven seasons with the program, finishes with a 7-0 record against arch-rival Michigan, a 3-1 mark in Big Ten Championship Games, and a 4-2 record in bowl and Playoff games.
His 2012 team finished the season a perfect 12-0, but was barred from postseason play due to NCAA infractions during the Jim Tressel era.
In 2013, he stretched his winning streak to a school-record 24 games before an upset loss to Michigan State in the 2013 Big Ten Championship game derailed the Buckeyes’ national title hopes.
It finally came together for him the following season. OSU overcame an early-season loss to Virginia Tech to run off 13 straight wins, including a 59-0 blowout of Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, a 42-35 win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal, and a 42-20 win over Oregon in the national championship game.
That would be the peak of the Meyer era at Ohio State, although no one knew it at the time.
His 2015 team was loaded with stars from the national championship season, but sputtered through an uneven year. Michigan State again played spoiler on a cold, raw evening in late November. The Buckeyes rebounded to pound Michigan and new head coach Jim Harbaugh, 42-13 and beat Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.
The 2016 Buckeyes looked dominant at times, but suffered a fluky loss at Penn State on a blocked field goal that was run back for a touchdown. They rebounded to win out the rest of their regular season games, including a dramatic 30-27 double-overtime showdown in a No. 2 vs. No. 3 battle with Michigan.
Despite losing a tie-breaker to Penn State for a berth in the Big Ten Championship Game, the Buckeyes earned a spot in the College Football Playoff anyway. However, they suffered the worst loss of the Meyer era in that game, falling 31-0.
The 2017 team rebounded to win the Big Ten Championship and the Cotton Bowl, but the season was marred by a blowout loss at Iowa.
The Buckeyes were expected to be national championship contenders again in 2018, but in July, a scandal broke involving wide receivers coach Zach Smith. Meyer was put on paid administrative leave and missed all of fall camp.
Although an Ohio State investigation ultimately cleared Meyer of the most significant allegations against him, he was still suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season.
The team got off to a hot start, but didn’t fully hit its stride for most of the year.
It struggled to close wins over teams like Indiana, Minnesota, and Maryland, but pulled it all together to destroy Michigan, 62-39 in the regular season finale.
That earned the Buckeyes a berth in the Big Ten Championship Game against Northwestern, which it won, 45-24.
Meyer’s career will end in the Rose Bowl.