Ryan Day Offers Support Of Harry Miller, Says He ‘Has A Lot To Give’ To Program

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day spoke to the media on Tuesday for the first time since offensive lineman Harry Miller announced his medical retirement, and Day said that Miller will continue to be involved with the program moving forward.

“We’re still trying to figure out what Harry will do around the program,” Day said. “The fact that he retired from football is one thing, but he still wants to be part of the program and find a way to make an impact. We said that we don’t need to make that decision right now, we’re going to give it a little time and figure out how that will work. He’s certainly someone who has a lot to give.”

Miller medically retired from football following an extended mental health battle, which he said in a statement on Twitter resulted in him information Day of his intention to take his own life.

“You could imagine how emotional that is,” Day said of Miller coming to him to say that he was feeling suicidal. “It’s something that keeps you up at night for sure. It’s something that goes on with our players, but that’s part of coaching. When people ask about the difference between college and the NFL, this is a great example. You have an opportunity to dive into people’s lives and try to help.

“This was a huge decision for Harry,” he continued. “It took a whole year to get to this point for him. You can tell how emotional he was about it because football has been a huge part of his life. To step away was a big deal and now he’s repurposing himself, and that’s not an easy thing to do. I’m proud of what he’s done and he has a lot to offer.”

With a role existing for Miller in the football program despite his medical retirement, support has come from across the board, including from coaches, teammates and fans alike. Beyond Miller’s statement on Twitter, he also made an appearance on The Today Show to discuss his mental health battle.

“It just breaks my heart,” Miller said. “When I was going through my therapy, I was seeing stories of Miss Americas and athletes all over the board. And I just kept thinking ‘if only somebody would just say something.’ And I’m just really grateful that I was able to receive the care and love and affection that I did so that I could.”

Among Miller’s biggest supporters is Day, who has outlined in the past his own struggles with his mental health. In Miller’s statement, he thanked Day for putting an infrastructure in place to support student-athletes who are experiencing these challenges.

“I think a lot of guys on our team have really supported him,” Day said. “When you put yourself out there publicly, there’s a concern of what people may say or think, and I think the support of Buckeye nation, of the state of Ohio, of Ohio State and of this football team and really nationally has been pretty remarkable and I think that means a lot to him.”

Day said that what makes him proudest of Miller is the work he did leading up to his retirement announcment, noting that it was a long road for him to get where he is now.

“He certainly wasn’t where he is right now a year ago. He did the work,” Day said. “What we did is put structures in place to help him, help all of our players, just like if somebody tears their ACL or sprains their ACL and they need physical therapy. There are guys who need some work in the mental area. He did the work, we just put the structure together and I’m proud that he’s in a better place now.”