As the baton passes Tuesday from Urban Meyer to Ryan Day, who will be named Ohio State’s 25th head football coach at a 2 p.m. introductory press conference inside the Fawcett Center, the next question immediately turns to what the Buckeyes’ coaching staff will look like after the transition finalizes into the 2019 season.
According to multiple reports, first by Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, Day is expected to retain four key members of Meyer’s cabinet. Those assistants are head strength coach Mickey Marotti, football operations director Brian Voltolini, player personnel director Mark Pantoni and player development director Ryan Stamper.
The rest of the OSU staff is out on the road recruiting, finalizing the 2019 class and working on the 2020 cycle, as the Dec. 19-21 early signing period approaches. According to Dan Murphy of ESPN, Meyer let those assistants know about his plans Tuesday at 5 a.m. – none of them are planning on returning because they are anticipating a smooth transition to Day.
While Day’s promotion to head coach gives him oversight for staff decisions, Meyer’s seven-year tenure in Columbus built a strong program on the backs of four staffers closest to him. Marotti, Voltolini, Pantoni and Stamper have held their respective roles since they were hired by Meyer in 2012.
Marotti worked with Meyer in the same capacity dating back to 2005 at Florida, where Meyer was the head coach until 2010. Marotti continued with the Gators into 2011 with head coach Will Muschamp (2011-14) before following Meyer to Ohio State, becoming close to a second head coach on the Buckeyes’ staff after taking into account the year-round time spent with the team in the offseason.
The same goes for Pantoni, who reported to Meyer from 2005-10 at UF, with two years as the program’s recruiting coordinator. Pantoni stayed in Gainesville, Fla., for 2011 and then joined the Buckeyes under Meyer as OSU’s supervisor of recruiting.
Voltolini and Meyer go back to 2001-02 at Bowling Green. He followed Meyer to Utah (2003-04) and Florida (2005-10) in various operations roles. Voltolini spent 2011 with the Gators before he came to Ohio State, promoted to the title of general manager in July 2018.
Stamper, who was a two-year starting linebacker and two-time captain for Meyer at UF, graduated from the university in 2009 with a degree in criminology. Stamper worked for a year as a police officer in Titusville, Fla., before heading to Columbus upon Meyer’s hire and spending all seven years in player development.
The Buckeyes’ 10-member staff of assistants features defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Kevin Wilson, co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Alex Grinch, special teams coordinator/cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson, running backs coach Tony Alford, defensive line coach Larry Johnson, offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, linebackers coach Billy Davis and interim wide receivers coach Brian Hartline. While the expectation despite Day’s promotion to head coach is that he will remain heavily involved with his offense, OSU has at least one opening on its coaching staff.