Ohio State extends Urban Meyer through 2020 for $6.5M average

Ohio State has extended Urban Meyer’s contract through the 2020 season and will make him the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten. Under his old deal he would have been paid $4.9 million for 2015. Now, Meyer — who led the Buckeyes to the national title three months ago — will make $5.8 million in total compensation and he will average $6.5 million over the next six seasons.

Despite transforming Ohio State into the nation’s top football program, Meyer had no desire to become the highest-paid college football coach in the country, a source told FOX Sports. Given the fact he has already won three national titles and is still only 50, it’s not a stretch to think he could’ve commanded a salary that rivals that of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari and is well into the $7 million range. (Alabama’s Nick Saban reportedly made $6.95 million last season.)

After taking over a Buckeyes program that went 6-7 and just 3-5 in conference play in 2011, the year before he arrived, Meyer is 38-3 at Ohio State and 24-0 in the regular season in the Big Ten. Even more impressive: Meyer’s teams have gone unbeaten in regular season conference play in Power 5 conferences in four of his past five years as a coach. He is also the only coach to have won national titles in two conferences. At Ohio State, Meyer has led the program to achieve its highest graduation success rate at 78 percent.

Meyer’s previous contract ran through the 2017 season. The new terms and extension, retroactive to Feb. 1, 2015, give Meyer a six-year contract through the 2020 season with an end date of Jan. 31, 2021.

Meyer’s system has also spawned a group of successful proteges at a much higher rate than other elite head coaches. Among the Meyer assistants who have thrived running their own programs: Dan Mullen, Charlie Strong, Gary Anderson, Doc Holliday, Steve Addazio, Kyle Whittingham and Dan McCarney. Meyer’s offensive coordinator from the 2014 Buckeyes title team, Tom Herman, just landed the Houston head coaching vacancy.

The Buckeyes are expected to be the preseason No. 1 team this year.

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