Last year, Ohio State's Urban Meyer was the sixth highest-paid coach in America. Not that his nearly $4.5 million salary was a pittance, but as he showed all but four months ago Sunday, he's a lot better than sixth best.
Consider that rectified. After leading the Buckeyes to a 14-1 record that included victories against Wisconsin, Alabama and finally Oregon in the postseason, Ohio State announced Monday an amendment to Meyer's contract — one that will now pay him $6.5 million annually. The news was first reported by FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman.
Urban Meyer deal w #OhioState has been extended thru the 2020 season; will average $6.5 MILLION over the next 6 years.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) April 13, 2015
Meyer also received another year extension on his contract, tying him up with Ohio State through the year 2020. He received a contract extension and bonus for leading the Buckeyes to a Big Ten Championship and the first ever College Football Playoff in January.
Meyer's new contract makes him now the second-highest paid college football coach and America, behind only Alabama's Nick Saban, who made more than $7.1 million last season. The new deal also makes Meyer the highest paid coach in the Big Ten, passing Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, who earned a touch more than $5.6 million last year.
"Urban Meyer has done an excellent job strengthening our culture of commitment to academics, career development and winning championships,” Ohio State Vice President and Director of Athletics Gene Smith said in a release. “Our young men continue to thrive under his leadership, whether on the playing field where they are national champions, through life skills pursuits like Real Life Wednesdays, internships and job fairs, and academically through program-wide efforts to monitor the progress of every student-athlete which has helped the team achieve its highest graduation success rate at 78 percent.
“Additionally, he continues to develop his coaches and attract talented leaders when needed.”
The changes to Meyer's deal are subject for approval by the Ohio State Board of Trustees at their next meeting, set for June 3-4.
"I am honored to serve as football coach at The Ohio State University and to represent this great university,” Meyer said in the release. “It is a privilege to coach and mentor the young men in this program, and I want to thank President Drake and Mr. Smith for their support and their trust in me.”
Meyer is set to earn $5.8 million in 2015, according to the release. With annual raises, he will see his annual average salary bump up to the $6.5 million figure.
Among active college football coaches with at least 10 years of head coaching experience, Meyer's .845 winning percentage (142-26) is the best in the country. He is the only coach to win a national title in two different conferences (2006 and 2008 with Florida and 2014 at Ohio State) and is on pace to reach 200 wins faster than any other coach in history.