COLUMBUS — Ohio State head coach Ryan Day headlined the Columbus Sports Commission’s 16th annual Morning Sports Report on Tuesday, along with Columbus Crew SC Head Coach Caleb Porter.
The event was moderated by former Buckeye linebacker James Laurinaitis, who asked Day about his transition to a head coaching job, his new staff, his family, recruiting, and the rivalry.
Here are the highlights from Day.
+ Day said the major difference in coaching college compared to coaching the NFL is the ability to bring in the players you want and then make an impact on their lives. He said life for a college football coach is more stable.
+ Day asks his coaching staff in meetings every day, “Do you love your players? Do they love you?” and he asks his players “Who do you love most in your life?” He said if they love each other like they love their family, they can have something special.
+ The core has stayed the same but the staff has changed a lot. He can see the staff gelling and building relationships. “So far, I’m really pleased with what we did.”
+ The time for building relationships is now because they will be going through tough times together in September and October, hopefully not a loss, though.
+ Something new that he has experienced since being a head coach is the amount of photos. Day said that they went to the Art Festival downtown but only for an hour because people wanted to take a lot of pictures.
+ Day and his wife love the community in Columbus. They grew up in a small community where they were the first ones to leave. They understand what community means and it felt right when they got here.
+ He has a wider scope on everything now. When he was a position coach, he was in a box just worried about his players. Now, everything is his responsibility and he notices things he didn’t notice before.
+ Day said he wants to be an approachable head coach. The players need someone they feel comfortable talking to. He wants to be involved in their lives.
+ Day said it takes time to figure out what the offense is going to look like but they are still going to have a successful offense.
+ “This is going to be a very different looking team,” Day said. The Buckeyes lost a lot of key players but there are still going to be those same core principles.
+ In recruiting, he draws the line on middle schoolers, meaning he only recruits high schoolers, even though middle school parents still like to send him their kids’ tapes.
+ His 11-year old son thinks he is the GM of Ohio State football. “He walks around like he owns the place.”
+ Day said it’s amazing what has changed in the quarterback room in the last year. Justin Fields and Gunnar Hoak won’t have the opportunity to sit in the meeting room and learn for two years before starting like Dwayne Haskins.
+ “When Justin Fields became available it just seemed like a great fit.”
+ “We are not allowed to pay them, but what we can provide for them is crazy,” Day said on recruiting athletes to Ohio State.
+ The Buckeyes have their annual Job Fair on Friday where the players have business cards and resumes and meet with companies to prepare for their futures. Day said the Real Life Wednesday program is a huge draw for recruits.
+ As a head coach you have to wear a bunch of different hats to be able to recruit and coach.
+ “You have to recruit first. If you don’t have that, you’re going to be in trouble.”
+ When asked how he will prepare for the Michigan game, Day said a lot of deep breaths.
+ “We are going to have our hands full in Ann Arbor after the result of last year.”
+ On the Ohio State – Michigan rivalry, “You have to live it every day”
+ “If you wear blue in the facility or say the word Michigan, you have to drop and do five push-ups. It doesn’t matter if you’re 90 years-old.”