5 Interesting Items In Ohio State Football Coaches’ Contracts

Ohio State Buckeyes football defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley

Ryan Day’s first staff of assistant coaches looks a lot different than Urban Meyer’s last one.

Day brought in five new assistants this season, including four on the defensive side of the ball.

The only coaches returning from 2018 are Day, who got a significant pay bump thanks to his new job title, Kevin Wilson, Brian Hartline, Tony Alford, Greg Studrawa, and Larry Johnson.

The new coaches are passing game coordinator Mike Yurcich, co-defensive coordinators Greg Mattison and Jeff Hafley, linebackers coach Al Washington, defensive backs and special teams coach Matt Barnes.

TheOzone obtained copies of every Ohio State football coaches’ contract through the Freedom of Information Act.

Here are a few interesting items in those contracts.

Base Salaries

First, the base salaries of all 10 assistant coaches.


Each coach has identical bonuses written in for winning the Big Ten, the Big Ten Championship Game, reaching the College Football Playoff, winning 9+ games and reaching a bowl game, and playing in the National Championship Game.

  • 8.5% of base contract if the Buckeyes win the title of Big Ten Champions
  • 4.25% of base contract if the Buckeyes win the Big Ten Championship Game. (This is seemingly somewhat redundant with the first clause)
  • 17% of the base contract if the Buckeyes reach the College Football Playoff.
  • 21.25% of the base contract if the Buckeyes participate in the College Football Playoff semifinals, but not the finals.
  • 25.5% of the base contract if the Buckeyes reach the College Football Playoff Final. (This clause would negate the previous bonus and 21.25% bonus.)
  • 4.25% of the base contract if the Buckeyes win 9+ games and participate in a non-CFP bowl game.
  • There is no bonus specified for winning the Michigan game or any other individual regular season game.

Additional Perks

Each coach also receives a $600 stipend every month for a car, plus six tickets to each OSU football home game and two tickets to each OSU men’s basketball home game.

Contract Length

Kevin Wilson, Mike Yurcich, Brian Hartline, Jeff Hafley, Greg Mattison, Al Washington received two-year contracts.

Larry Johnson, Greg Studrawa, and Tony Alford’s contracts are for one year.

Yes, They Have To Talk To The Media

The contract notes that “local and national media interest in the Team and the football program is extremely high” which seems like a bit of an understatement.

It says that the coach understands that if requested by Ryan Day or another high-ranking athletic department official, the coach “shall use Coach’s best efforts (schedule permitting) to make Coach available for interviews and other outside appearances.”

What They Can’t Do

OSU has contractual obligations with a number of companies, which the school’s coaches can’t violate.

That means that since OSU has a deal with Coca-Cola, Buckeye coaches can’t make deals that would prevent them from appearing at Coke “activities or functions.”

They can’t “solicit or accept gifts of cash or of other substantial value or accept hospitality.” So please don’t slip Kevin Wilson $20 if you like his game plan one week.

“Regularly appear” on radio stations other than the affiliates of the Ohio State Radio Network.

Coaches also can’t hold their own football camps using OSU facilities, and agree to help with the marketing and operation of OSU’s camps.

Last Year

For comparison, these were the assistant coach salaries released this time last year.

  • Greg Schiano – $700,000 in 2017 to $1,500,000 in 2018: $800,000 increase
  • Ryan Day – $400,000 in 2017 to $1,000,000 in 2018: $600,000 increase
  • Kevin Wilson – $650,000 in 2017 to $800,000 in 2018: $150,000 increase
  • Alex Grinch – $800,000 in 2018
  • Larry Johnson – $575,225 in 2017 to $750,000 in 2018; $174,775 increase
  • Tony Alford – $450,000 in 2017 to $525,000 in 2018; $75,000 increase
  • Bill Davis – $500,000 in 2017; $500,000 in 2018
  • Greg Studrawa – $410,000 in 2017 to $500,000 in 2018; $90,000 increase
  • Taver Johnson – $345,000 in 2018
  • Zach Smith – $300,000 in 2017 to $340,000 in 2018; $40,000 increase

7 Responses

  1. My guess is that no one thinks LJ will leave. Sad but ultimately the market decides how much you get paid, and if you’re not willing to test the water…I agree he should be at least tied for second best paid assistant. OBTW, how did Mattison do getting his defenses ready for big games? Not sure I understand that salary at all.

  2. Day had to pay them to get them. I’m not sure he knows what he’s doing as a head coach. Johnson for sure ranks higher than the other two.

  3. Larry Johnson should be the highest paid DLine and Assistant HC in the Country.

    1. Agreed, James. Kind of sad that two new OSU coaches (Mattison and Hafley) make more than LJ. And the “co-coordinator” title means nothing to me, didn’t help the last two “co-coordinators” all that much. Those 2 guys need LJ a lot more than he will ever need them.

      1. It’s a tad bit concerning to me that LJ’s contract is only for a year AND he’s not being compensated for his outstanding development, recruiting, and mentoring of some of the finest talents in the world.

        I think Ryan needs to have a good long chat between his heart and his head.

      2. James and Longtime – concur

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