Gene Smith: Urban Meyer 'will be our head coach for quite a while'

Meyer reflects on first game back (0:40)

Urban Meyer discusses his emotions during his first game back on the sideline for Ohio State after a three-game suspension. (0:40)

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith on Sunday addressed a report from The Athletic that said the school was in discussions with offensive coordinator Ryan Day to make him the Buckeyes' head coach-in-waiting.

Smith said Ohio State is appreciative of Day's work, but the school is confident that Urban Meyer will be the head coach for a long time.

Smith reiterated the statement in a text message to ESPN.com's Heather Dinich, saying, "Urban will be our head coach for quite a while."

Day, 39, served as Ohio State's interim head coach for the first three games of the season as Meyer served a suspension handed down from the university. A two-week investigation found that Meyer mishandled the employment and domestic assault allegations dealing with former wide receivers coach Zach Smith. Meyer was suspended without pay from Aug. 22 through Sept. 2 and was banned from coaching the team during its first three games.

During the suspension, Day led the Buckeyes to a 3-0 record, beating Oregon State, Rutgers and TCU while his offense outscored opponents 169-62 in the three games. His name surfaced in coaching searches after the 2017 season, but he ultimately chose to stay at Ohio State despite offers that included joining the Tennessee Titans as their offensive coordinator.

Day was promoted from co-offensive coordinator to offensive coordinator and the primary playcaller in January, and while it is very likely the Buckeyes would like him to stick around, Smith calmed the reports that Ohio State has gone as far as making him its head-coach-in-waiting.

Meyer thanked Day for his efforts in his postgame news conference after the Buckeyes' 49-6 win against Tulane, which was Meyer's first game back on the sideline.

"We presented [Day] with the game ball afterwards," Meyer said. "3-0, that's a pretty good record. I'm not sure the exact winning percentage that is, but it's pretty high. He's done a great job."