Ryan Day becomes first Ohio State coach to win Big Ten coach of the year award since 1979

Ryan Day got an award after his first regular season as Ohio State’s coach that Urban Meyer never received.

The Big Ten announced Tuesday that Day was the recipient of the Dave McClain Coach of the Year Award following No. 1 Ohio State’s 12-0 regular season. He’s the first Ohio State coach to get the award since Earle Bruce won it in 1979 when Ohio State was 11-0 in the regular season.

Yes, it’s been 40 years between Ohio State coaches winning the conference’s coach of the year award. It’s a statistic that’s eye-popping. But Ohio State has entered many of the seasons in that span with high preseason expectations. And coaches that live up to lofty preseason expectations typically don’t win coaching awards at the end of the season. The recipients are usually coaches of teams that weren’t expected to be great.

That helps explain why Meyer never won the award in any of his seven seasons as Ohio State’s coach despite his teams recording 10 or more wins in each of them. Day took over for Meyer after Meyer retired following the 2018 season. He also served as the team’s interim coach at the start of 2018 when Meyer was suspended by the school.

Buckeyes DE Chase Young was named the conference’s defensive player of the year. The offensive player of the year will be announced on Wednesday and there’s a good chance OSU QB Justin Fields or OSU RB J.K. Dobbins will be the winner of that award.

P.J. Fleck wins Big Ten’s other coaching award

The Big Ten has two coaching awards. The award Day won is voted on by media members who cover the Big Ten. Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck was the winner of the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year Award. That award is voted on by the coaches in the conference.

Fleck’s Gophers went 10-2 in 2019 though they ended the season with a loss. Minnesota fell to Wisconsin on Saturday and lost out on a chance to play Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game. The Badgers will meet the Buckeyes on Dec. 7.

It’s the first 10-win season for the Gophers since 2003 and the first time the team has won seven games in the Big Ten.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports

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