staff, April 13, 2015

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The contract of Ohio State University Head Football Coach Urban Meyer has been extended through the year 2020 and will make him the highest paid coach in the Big Ten Conference in terms of annual compensation, Vice President and Director of Athletics Gene Smith announced Monday. The contract changes are subject to Board of Trustees? approval at its next meeting, scheduled for June 3-4.

?Urban Meyer has done an excellent job strengthening our culture of commitment to academics, career development and winning championships,? Smith said. ?Our young men continue to thrive under his leadership, whether on the playing field where they are national champions, through life skills pursuits like Real Life Wednesdays, internships and job fairs, and academically through program-wide efforts to monitor the progress of every student-athlete which has helped the team achieve its highest graduation success rate at 78 percent.

?Additionally, he continues to develop his coaches and attract talented leaders when needed.?

Meyer?s previous contract ran through the 2017 season and would have paid him $4.9 million for 2015. 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 will make $5.8 million in total compensation for 2015 and, with annual raises, will average at least $6.5 million per year over the next six years.

?I am honored to serve as football coach at The Ohio State University and to represent this great university,? Meyer said. ?It is a privilege to coach and mentor the young men in this program, and I want to thank President Drake and Mr. Smith for their support and their trust in me.?

Meyer is the winningest* coach in college football with an .845 winning percentage and a 142-26 overall record. He has led the Buckeyes to a 38-3 record, is undefeated in Big Ten regular season play at 24-0, and his 2014 team won the eighth national championship in school history along with winning the school?s 35th Big Ten championship.

Meyer has now won three national titles, and he is one of only two coaches - ever - to lead two schools to a national championship. He is the only coach to win a national championship in two conferences.

Meyer won more games his first 10 years – 104 – than all but two coaches in college football history. He is on a pace to have the most victories after his first 15 seasons as a head coach and to reach 200 victories faster than any other coach.

*Among active FBS coaches with at least 10 years of experience in Division I