Urban Meyer is getting an extension to remain as Ohio State’s football coach through 2023. He will be paid handsomely to do so, but Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith said it won’t be quite near the same level as the two highest-paid coaches in the sport.
An exchange from Smith’s availability to the media on National Signing Day:
Reporter: “Will Urban’s new situation put him in the Nick Saban/Jimbo Fisher realm?”
This comes on the heels of Smith calling the rise in coaching salaries “ridiculous” at a school meeting on Tuesday. Meyer made the fourth-highest salary of any college football coach last season at $6.4 million per year. Alabama’s Saban was the highest-paid coach in college football in 2017 at $11.1 million, followed by Clemson’s Dabo Swinney at $8.5 million and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh at $7 million, according to USA Today’s database.
Texas A&M signed Fisher to the richest deal in college football history at $75 million over 10 years this offseason.
“Everyone has a different market where they are, and I know what Alabama did was right for them, what Texas A&M did is right for them,” Smith said. “It makes it challenging for all of us, but the reality is we have to compensate people consistent with the expectations for their performance. We’ve always done that, and we’ll do the same with Urban and his contract.
“I do think there are some things that are entirely out of kilter with the market. It has skewed things so crazy if you include them in the market. I’m not a big believer in 10-year contracts. I’m just not one of those guys. I think that a full-guarantee 10-year contract, I’ve just been in the business too long to understand what that means. So I think that skews things. So when you have those one-offs, and that’s right for them, let’s be clear, that’s right for them, but not right for us.”