Ohio State coach Urban Meyer retires as state's highest-paid public official

Retiring Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer isn’t just one of the highest-paid coaches in college sports – he’s the highest-paid public official in the state of Ohio, according to public records.

Meyer, who plans to retire as head coach effective Jan. 2, after Ohio State plays in the Rose Bowl, earned $7.6 million in salary for the 2018 season. That figure established the 54-year-old as the highest-paid head coach in college football, outpacing Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh and Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, USA Today reported last April.

Meyer’s haul easily surpassed that of Ohio’s top elected officials, including Gov. John Kasich. The 2016 presidential candidate earns just over $148,000 in annual salary. By comparison, Ohio’s median household income was $50,674.

College coaches regularly rank among the highest-paid public officials in their states. A March 2018 analysis by ESPN found that college football or basketball coaches earned the top salary among public employees in 39 of the 50 states.

Meyer has spent the last seven seasons at Ohio State, amassing an 82-9 record and a national championship in 2014. He also won two national titles as head coach of the Florida Gators from 2005 to 2010.

His final season at Ohio State was marred by accusations that Meyer and other school officials ignored allegations fo domestic violence against former assistant coach Zach Smith. Meyer was given a three-game suspension for his role in the controversy.