Go Undefeated = Get a Raise

By Ramzy Nasrallah on May 13, 2013 at 8:23a

Ohio State now has three football assistants taking home at least half a million dollars annually: Luke Fickell ($600,000), co-defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Everett Withers ($580,000) and offensive coordinator Tom Herman ($550,000).

For those of you concerned about Urban Meyer losing assistants to head coaching jobs, the MAC's current highest-paid coach is Ohio's Frank Solich who earns $500,000 annually. Second is Northern Illinois' Dan Doeren at $420,000. Those three Buckeye assistants now take home more money than a quarter of FBS head coaches. 

While annual assistant salaries are nationally competitive, contract lengths are not:

Herman, Withers, co-offensive coordinator Ed Warinner and running backs coach Stan Drayton have two-year deals; the other five are on one-year deals.

“Urban hasn’t made a huge request to have multi multiyear contracts,” (Gene) Smith said.

“You’re paying those salaries because of that, but also because there is risk involved for those coaches,” he said. “Their careers could be short-lived if they don’t produce.

The message is clear: Go undefeated again or else YOU'RE OUTTA HERE.



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Mike Honcho's picture

It'll be interesting one day when Fickell leaves if he takes his best friend Mike Vrabel with him.
The assistant coach I feel Urban wants to keep as long as he can is most likely Tom Herman which funny because when Urban hired him I think every Buckeye fan went "Who?"
Regardless I think another undefeated season and Ohio State will lose Whithers, Fickell, and Herman to head coaching gigs.

Idaho Helga's picture

None of us knows these guys but I could see Vrabel leaving for the NFL if the right offer came.  It does seem he's happy here though.
We can all take solace in that clearly Urban knows what he wants in a guy and this group is phenomenal so when they move on to the "bigger and better things" then Urban will seek a  hire of similar quality.  He said he was out to find the best in America and that's just what he accomplished.
I like the 1 or 2 year contracts for new hires.  Woody worked under a 1 year contract.  It keeps the foot on the gas.

brandonbauer87's picture

I'm actually not convinced Fickell ever leaves. He seems to be having a lot of fun now. You can tell he's happier since Urban came. I think the only way Vrabel leaves is with Fickell. I like Withers but I don't consider him a big loss when he goes. I do agree about the writing on the wall with Herman. He's young with no former ties to OSU. I think he leaves eventually for all the same reasons that Fickell stays. 

luckynutz's picture

I agree. Fickell has already sat in the hottest seat in columbus for one year. And he's seen what it takes to run the program. He is now learning from his second sure-fire HOF coach in urban meyer. he is a born and bred buckeye who bleeds scarlet and gray. I see him sticking around until urban decides to move on and become the next head coach at Ohio State. Whyv go elsewhere when you already know where you want to be?

Mike Honcho's picture

Fickell has already interviewed for 2 jobs that we at least know about. He interviewed with Pitt when they hired Paul Chryst and Akron when they hired Hazzell.

faux_maestro's picture

Experience bro. Everyone needs it.

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

Mike Honcho's picture

Don't call me bro, brah.
Experience for what? Interview experience? The only thing a school like Ohio State is going to care about is head coaching experience. Which he's is limited to 6 months. Most big time BCS programs are looking for some one who has actually controlled an entire program for years AND has showed success at doing it. Will Muschamp was more along the lines of the exception, not the rule. 
Look at the coaching search 2 years ago. You didn't hear any coordinators being seriously discussed. You heard Gary Patterson, Chris Peterson, Bob Stoops, and Urban Myer. All of which has coached a team to the BCS and won.

faux_maestro's picture

Brah, experience is experience. Go interview, get out and see if there is someplace else you can get coaching experience without the meat grinder of the big time while still having a chance to win.

Your mom told me she wants a Dicken Cidar.

Mike Honcho's picture

Sounds like we're saying the same thing here.
Go cut your teeth as a head coach and get noticed.

Basso Profondo's picture

Good thing we don't have those pesky "multi multi-year" contracts.  Come on Gene, that just sounds funny.

osubuck57's picture

Have a feeling we lose a few coaches sooner than later.When your the top dog,everyone wants your coaches.We go undefeated again,and I'm betting we lose at least 2,possibly 3.


Nick's picture

At least it wont (probably not) be to bad programs with these salaries. Guys can afford to stay around and build an impressive resume and take over at a PAC-12/BIG12/B1G/SEC/ACC school.

tdible2132's picture

I wonder what kind of a raise the coaches will get after we make it two straight undefeated seasons!  Can you imagine the hype if we win the B1G and NC and finish 14-0?  How could every single 2015 NOT want to commit to a 26-0 Urban Meyer at OSU?  The butthurt out of A2 would be glorious!

MN Buckeye's picture

The coaches will be in demand, but I hope that Urban also develops a core group of loyal coaches that will stick with the program or at least stick with him like Marotti has.  Some turnover is inevitable, but there will be quality coaches that are satisfied and productive as a highly paid assistant and do not want the headaches of all the program responsibility, such as fund-raising and appearances.
But then again, I could be wrong.

German Buckeye's picture

Fickell = CDR William Riker on Star Trek Next Generation - always turning down promotion to CAPT in order to continue service with Jean Luc Picard...

tussey's picture

I think that Ed Warriner has to be up there on most important coaches.  Just look at what he did with the o-line last year, they went from a perceived weakness to a strength. 

lippertini's picture

Totally agree, super impressive in his first season with us.  Would really love to see what he can do with a few more here.

otrain2416's picture

I'm glad they're getting a raise. I would hate to lose some of these guys to MAC schools. I was surprised seeing someone say losing Withers isn't that big of a loss, I'm guessing they didn't  follow Vonn Bells recruitment. For the most part each assistant coach has a crucial roll on the team.

  • Withers- recruiting ties down south especially in the Carolinas where the football talent has seemed to be blooming the last few years.
  • Fickell- played for OSU, knows the tradition, knows how to sell the program
  • Herman- good QB coach and coordinator, great connections in Texas and west coast connections
  • Warinner- outstanding OL coach, built one of the best OL I've seen at OSU in years
  • Coombs- great energy, great recruiter, for anyone who missed his Zeke speech
  • Drayton- Cleveland and Florida connection. Worked for Urban in the past
  • Vrabel- the Wow factor recruiting players. 14 yr NFL vet 3 superbowls OSU grad and sack leader
  • Hinton- coached for over 30 yrs, great experience
  • Smith- young coach brings energy. Knows Urbans system

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

House804's picture

Dave Doeren is the HC at NC STATE now.  Probably making a little more than $420,000.

We talkin' bout practice?!  Not the game I love...the game I die for.  Practice?!