Let's get this out of the way first. Whenever the conversation of college coaching salaries comes up, there are many who are outraged, saying coaches, professional players, entertainers, etc. make too much money. The feeling is that their jobs aren't that important. I get it...there are professions that have a much greater impact in society that make pennies by comparison...but that's a different discussion. This discussion is, based on market value, is Ohio State coach Urban Meyer worth the $7.6 million per year he will make thanks to his new contract extension. The answer is an emphatic yes.
The new deal, officially approved by Ohio State's Board of Trustees Friday morning, extends Meyer's contract through 2022 and makes Meyer the highest paid coach in the Big Ten and the third highest paid coach nationally behind Alabama's Nick Saban ($10.9 million) and Clemson's Dabo Swinney ($8.5 million). Jimbo Fisher is believed to be just behind Meyer, after getting a reported 10-year, $75 million dollar deal back in December, to become Texas A&M's new coach.
With big money comes big expectations and Meyer has delivered.
In his six seasons at Ohio State, the Buckeyes have finished top 10 in the polls every year and top five four of the six years. In 2016, OSU finished out of the top five but did make the College Football Playoff. The 31-0 loss to eventual national champion Clemson dropped OSU to No. 6. There has been a national championship in 2014, two Big Ten titles, wins in the Sugar, Fiesta and Cotton Bowls and complete domination of the Big Ten. Meyer is 47-3 in Big Ten regular season games and has won at least a share of his division title all six years. Even if you add the Big Ten title game into the equation (Ohio State lost to Michigan State in 2012, but beat Wisconsin in 2014 and 2017) Meyer's league record is 49-4. No other coach in America has dominated his conference to that degree.
Ohio State has the best conference record of any team in the nation over the last six years:— Jerry Emig (@BuckeyeNotes) April 6, 2018
Best Conference Records – 2012-17
1. 47-3 - Ohio State
2. 43-5 - Alabama
3. 42-6 - Clemson
4. 45-9 - Oklahoma
5. 39-11 - Wisconsin
Past history suggests that Meyer will keep winning. He's done it everywhere he's gone. In his 16 years as a head coach at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State, he's 177-31. That's an .851 winning percentage. The only coaches, who have coached more than 200 games, who have a better winning percentage than that are Knute Rockne and Frank Leahy. As Meyer's jobs have gotten better--so has his record. He was 39-8 at Bowling Green and Utah (.829) and is 138-23 at Florida and Ohio State (.857) and has three national titles to boot.
He's also recruiting at a high level with classes ranked in the top five each of the last four years and in the top two both in 2016 and 2017. He's putting his most talented players in the NFL and his teams are succeeding in the classroom.
Ohio State's official release announcing the Meyer extension points out that "Buckeye football players have earned five academic All-American honors the past four years, one National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete award and the team had its highest fall academic semester grade point average in over eight years last fall."
The point is, you can't do much better than Urban Meyer. Has he been perfect? Of course not (see Iowa November 5) but he's been close to it. No doubt, $7.6 million is a lot of money--but for a program as big as Ohio State to be running at such a high level on and off the field, it's a bargain.