UNH’s footprint on the college football coaching scene just got a good bit bigger. On Dec. 4, Ryan Day ’02 was named the 25th head coach of the Rose Bowl-bound Ohio State University football team. A business administration graduate of the Whittemore School of Business and Economics (now the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics), Day was UNH’s starting quarterback from 1999-2001, setting nine school records during his tenure that included pass completions (653), touchdown passes (53), completion percentage (59.9 percent) and total offense (8,492 yards). After graduating, the Manchester, New Hampshire, native coached as part of the team’s offensive staff under then offensive coordinator Chip Kelly ’90, and later worked for Kelly at both the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers as quarterback coach. He was hired as co-offensive coordinator at Ohio State in January 2017.
Earlier in the year, when Day led the Ohio State team for three games while head coach Urban Meyer served a staff-related suspension, Kelly, currently head coach for the UCLA Bruins, spoke with Yahoo about his protégé’s potential. “You could tell he was destined to be great at this profession,” he said. “He’s always been mature and level-headed; he’s as composed of a person as I’ve ever been around.”
Kelly isn’t the only one who saw something in Day from the start. Paul College business administration professor Roger Grinde recalls having Day in a class early in his UNH teaching career. “He really impressed me then,” he says. “Obviously he’s done well in his profession.”
Day will replace Meyer as the Buckeyes’ primary play caller after the Big Ten champs take on the University of Washington in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2019.