Congratulations on your promotion to the Head Coach at The Ohio State University. You are now among the few people in the modern era bestowed this honor. With this great honor, know that tradition brings great responsibility, not just to your staff and players, but to the fans as well.
Here are a few things the fans would like to see from you:
1.) Learn about our Rivalry and why Urban's respect for Michigan is so high. Ask Urban to tell you about how it felt losing to them in 1986, and how it fueled his fire, even ask him about 2008 when he was at Florida and how much that loss hurt him personally. Live the Rivalry, your job as you know, depends on it. See John Cooper, he had a great record, just couldn't beat Michigan, even with the best Ohio State team I've ever known.
2.) Hand the ball to the official. Out of all the things Jim Tressel brought to Ohio State, handing the ball to the official after a touchdown was my favorite. Please bring that back. He would make the players run laps if they did not do this, and sometimes instead of handing it off, they tossed it, and in the big games, sometimes they didn't, but most times they did. It not only protects the ball, but it shows businesslike manners, respect for the offical, and most of all good sportsmanship.
3.) Make the tough decisions. Urban was such a great guy, but he always hated to fire his crew when it was necessary. I won't give you specific examples, you know who they are. Talk to him about this, learn from his mistakes. If you have a gentlemans agreement not to do that this year, do it anyway. You know where the faults are, fix them.
4.) Let the kids have fun, build comaradery. Encourage them to have fun and not stress about games, or specific plays. This will let the pressure off. You'll have proven players, the best players in the nation if you continue to recruit as Urban has been doing. Let the field be their playground, remember to respect the game, just have fun doing it.
5.) Recruit Ohio. Urban always felt he should have recruited Ohio better. Nothing against the out of state kids, many of them became true Buckeyes, too many to name. One only needs to look back to 2002, or 2014, and see 17 Ohio kids starting on each team, and only 6 this year. Never turn your back on Ohio, but always keep an eye for the best players in the nation. Lock those gates up that Urban has left open a few times around Ohio. Always recruit the best, but be sure to fill in the gaps with those Ohio players, where some of the best and most underrated the football in America is played.
6.) Win the games you are supposed to. This is actually something that Jim Tressel, and John Cooper were masters at. It allowed Cooper to keep his job, despite losing to Michigan and his bowl games. Urban Meyer was good at this too, learn from his mistakes over the last few years, and keep your focus and energy on the game as long as your health holds steady.
7.) Do fun things for the fans, let people know what is on your mind. Urban had it, and lost it as his health declined. Chris Hotlmann has the right idea, become the biggest Buckeye fan in the World. People will love you for it.
8.) Don't be afraid to ask for help, or ideas. You're new, some things are hard to learn without experiencing. If your defensive backfield is struggling, ask your coach what the issue is. If he keeps failing, and keeps giving the same answer, get help for him. Call up Kerry Combs (example only), or Shawn Springs, etc. Get their input. Urban did this, the best coaches do.
9.) Bring in lots of former Buckeyes, as Urban and Tress did for encouragement and history. I applaud you that you said the former players are always welcome. This does wonders for recruiting too. Remember why you are here, not for a paycheck, but to pay homage to the Buckeyes past, present and future.
10.) Respect Buckeye Nation. Do not dismiss us as John Cooper did by saying Michigan is just another game. Do not dismiss us if we grill you over a bad play call, even if you know it was right, it is because we love Ohio State, and we need to vent our frustrations, even if it wasn't your fault. Try to make time for us, and know when you wave and acknowledge us, even when you don't have time to talk or give an autograph, it means more than you can ever imagine. Communication is key. Again Holt wrote the book on this. You support us, we support you, win or lose.
You were hired for being the brightest, so I am stopping short of the X's and O's. Take a look at where you are, so you never forget where you began your coaching career. Enjoy the little things, celebrate, and hand the ball to the official.
Signed, The loyal fans of The Ohio State University athletics