Ohio State extends Urban Meyer's contract through 2020 season after leading Buckeyes to title



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FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2014, file photo, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer looks on in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Maryland in College Park, Md. Most of his standout players from last year's national championship team are back. But that hasn't kept coach Urban Meyer from driving his Ohio State players hard during spring workouts to avoid complacency. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer keeps winning big.

Meyer can pair Ohio State's national championship with a hefty contract extension that will make him the second-highest paid coach in college football. Meyer was rewarded Monday with an extension through the 2020 season.

His previous contract ran through the 2017 and would have paid him $4.9 million for 2015. The new terms and extension give Meyer a six-year deal. He will make $5.8 million in total compensation for 2015. His contract will average at least $6.5 million a year over the next six years.

He said in a statement Monday he is "honored" to "represent this great university."

Meyer has led Ohio State to a 38-3 record and is 24-0 in Big Ten regular-season play. The Buckeyes defeated Oregon last season to win the first College Football Playoff.

Alabama's Nick Saban is the only coach to earn more money per season than Meyer at $7 million.

"Our young men continue to thrive under his leadership, whether on the playing field where they are national champions, through life skills pursuits ... 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," Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said.

Meyer's .845 winning percentage (142-26) leads all college coaches. He has won three national titles, and he is one of only two coaches to lead two schools to a national championship. He is the only coach to win a national championship in two conferences, with two titles at Florida.

He spent one year away from coaching working as an analyst for ESPN and watching his two daughters play volleyball for their college teams.

Meyer won more games his first 10 years (104) than all but two coaches in college football history.

Meyer left Utah for Florida after leading the Utes to a perfect season. He had a choice of either the Florida job or the Notre Dame job.

In his second season with the Gators, No. 2-ranked Florida beat unbeaten Ohio State, coached by Jim Tressel, 41-14 to win his first national title.

Two years later, Florida won another national crown, beating Oklahoma 24-14 behind Tim Tebow.

The next year Florida contended for a repeat, but after losing the SEC title game to Alabama, Meyer said he was retiring, citing health problems. He changed his mind and was back the next day, saying he would only take a leave of absence.

The Buckeyes are likely to open the season ranked No. 1 in the AP poll as they try for consecutive championships. Meyer's biggest worry is complacency.

"We're human beings, man," Meyer said during spring workouts. "I don't think last year we had that sense around here at all. This year I'm watching it. I don't feel it. If I do, we'd dive right into it."

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