Kirk Herbstreit Says Ryan Day is Considering Giving Up Offensive Playcalling Duties

By Dan Hope on January 2, 2023 at 2:31 pm
Ryan Day
Dale Zanine – USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State could have a new offensive play caller next season.

During ESPN’s College GameDay on Monday, former Ohio State quarterback and current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit revealed a conversation with Ryan Day in which Ohio State’s head coach told him he is considering giving up offensive playcalling duties.

“Ryan Day mentioned in our production meeting, he’s going to stop calling plays next year, because he needs to become more of a manager as a head coach. And when you’re prepping a game plan, there’s a lot more that goes into it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday to be ready to call those plays on Saturday. So he’s thinking about maybe relinquishing those (playcalling duties),” Herbstreit said.

Day, who initially became Ohio State‘s offensive play caller in 2018 when he took over that responsibility from Kevin Wilson, has been the offensive play caller for all of his first four seasons as the Buckeyes’ head coach.

If Day goes through with a decision to delegate offensive playcalling duties, picking the right offensive coordinator to replace Wilson – who is now the head coach at Tulsa – will become even more important.

That promotion seems likely to come from within, with associate head coach for offense/offensive line coach Justin Frye and passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach Brian Hartline being the leading candidates. Other than Day, Frye is the only coach on Ohio State’s staff who has actually been an offensive coordinator before, as he was the offensive coordinator at UCLA from 2019-21 before joining Ohio State’s staff last year, though he was not the primary play caller at UCLA as Chip Kelly handled those duties.

While Day could also look to bring in an experienced play caller from outside the program, there are not currently any openings on Ohio State’s full-time coaching staff, as Keenan Bailey has already been promoted to tight ends coach to replace Wilson in that role.

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