Three worst head coaching hires in Ohio State football history

Chris Holtmann was an awful hire for the basketball program. That got us thinking: who have been the worst hires for the Ohio State football program?
Dec 29, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day leads warm-ups prior to
Dec 29, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Ryan Day leads warm-ups prior to / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA
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Chris Holtmann was fired on Wednesday in the middle of his seventh season as head coach of the Ohio State basketball program. It was a bad hire that was exacerbated by a bad extension. It was the first time Gene Smith had fired an Ohio State football or basketball coach in the middle of the season.

Holtmann clearly needed to go and it was the right move to let him go. The Buckeyes don't have a history of making bad hires in either football or basketball, but there still have been some bad ones. Holtmann's firing got us thinking about the bad Ohio State football hires.

Looking back through history, none of the hires have been truly terrible. All of the coaches I'm about to list had some success at some point. They just didn't win at the absolute highest level necessary to be a great coach with the Buckeyes.

There are three coaches that fit this criteria. This list will go from the third-worst hire all the way to the worst one. The first coach on this list happens to be the current one.

3. Ryan Day, Ohio State football coach 2019-present

Ryan Day is on the hot seat this year. There's no question about that. If you look at his resumé, all of his big wins have come with Urban Meyer's players. He has two Big Ten titles with those guys. Since those guys left, he hasn't even made it to Indianapolis.

Day has a 1-3 record against TTUN and has lost three consecutive games to them. Marvin Harrison Jr., who is one of the best receivers in Ohio State football history, just went his whole career without getting a pair of gold pants. That's unacceptable.

It hasn't been all doom and gloom in Day's tenure though. He did play for a national championship in 2020 and got robbed in the CFP semi-final in 2019. He also has revamped his coaching staff this year and has a ton of talent returning for 2024. Day can still change his narrative and become a good hire.

Up to this point though, Day has been a disappointment when you compare him to his predecessor. Urban Meyer never lost to Michigan and won a national title while leading the Buckeyes. He kept the fans happy and always had his teams in the running for championships.

The next coach on this list had some of the best Ohio State football teams ever and still couldn't beat TTUN.