Retaining Mickey Marotti Was One of the Biggest Offseason Wins For Ryan Day and Ohio State

By David Regimbal on January 14, 2019 at 9:35 am
Mickey Marotti

Eleven Warriors

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When Urban Meyer was hired to take over the Ohio State football program in 2012, he needed to put a staff together that would help him compete for national championships.

His first hires included big names like Tom Herman and Kerry Coombs, and he made the right moves by bringing Luke Fickell and Mike Vrabel back from the previous staff.

But when his first team was introduced at halftime of an Ohio State basketball game, he called out the biggest addition he made.

“And finally, the most important hire I made on this coaching staff, to bring toughness, make sure we're in great shape and get this team ready to go—our strength coach, Mickey Marotti.”

That was the man Meyer used to turn Florida into the buzzsaw that won two national titles in 2007 and 2009. And during his seven years in Columbus, Marotti instilled that same toughness into the Buckeyes, who went 87-9 and won three big ten titles and one national title during his tenure.

He's not just Meyer's guy anymore, and that's important. As Day looks to build on the foundation Meyer built, he has an enormous advantage in the man Meyer used to lay those bricks.

New head coach Ryan Day saw the value Marotti brings to the program firsthand, and that's why it was such a big win for him to retain Ohio State's strength coach.

Marotti's been around a while. The Ambridge, Pennsylvania native has been some form of a strength coach for 32 years. His career started at the high school level in Grove City, Ohio in 1987, and a year later, he was brought on by Earl Bruce as a graduate assistant strength coach at Ohio State (coincidentally just one year after Meyer's stint as a grad assistant in Columbus).

Marotti climbed the ladder with stops at West Virginia, Cincinnati and Notre Dame, going from a strength assistant to director of strength and conditioning. He was hired away from the Fighting Irish by Meyer in 2005, and the rest is history.

He's not just Meyer's guy anymore, and that's important. As Day looks to build on the foundation Meyer built, he has an enormous advantage in the man Meyer used to lay those bricks.

What exactly does Marotti do for the program?

To put it simply, he's responsible for making the Buckeyes tough. Meyer wanted his teams to unleash relentless effort on their opponents, and he used Marotti to build his players up.

"Coach Meyer says and really preaches [relentless effort], but it's really coach Mick who's the one that goes through with it."

That was former Ohio State fullback and linebacker Zach Boren looking back at his time under Marotti. From the intricate and absurd workouts like the infamous St. Valentine's Day massacre to the simple details like making sure his players are hydrated, Marotti's impact stretches far past the Buckeyes' state-of-the-art weight room.

“There are times in the year when the strength staff has more contact with the team than the coaching staff,” Meyer explained. “I have complete trust in Mickey Marotti’s abilities to prepare our student-athletes to be the strongest, fastest and mentally toughest football players they can be.”

Maintaining that culture of strength, speed and toughness is one of Day's to priorities as he takes over the Ohio State football program, and with Marotti by his side, he's off to a good start.

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