Buckeyes' Ryan Day promotes Brian Hartline to full-time WR coach

One of Ryan Day's first official acts as head coach at Ohio State closes the loop on a staff change that played a large part in him landing his new role with the program.

Day promoted interim assistant coach Brian Hartline to a full-time position working with the team's wide receivers, Ohio State announced Saturday afternoon.

Though he doesn't technically take over for outgoing head coach Urban Meyer until Jan. 2, Day is getting a head start on securing his future staff a week after being appointed Meyer's successor.

"Brian is a terrific young coach and mentor to our players, and I am thrilled he is on our staff permanently now," Day said in a release. "Brian was displaying outstanding leadership qualities when he was a quality control coach, and his efforts coaching the wide receivers this season are a huge reason we are Big Ten champions and headed to the Rose Bowl."

Hartline stepped in to coach a talented, veteran group of receivers this summer when Meyer and Ohio State fired former assistant coach Zach Smith for a pattern of questionable behavior.

The manner in which Meyer and athletic director Gene Smith handled Zach Smith's actions -- allegations of domestic abuse coupled with a series of separate indiscretions that impacted his job performance -- led to the university suspending both men a month after Zach Smith was fired. Meyer missed the first three games of the regular season as a result, and Day led the team to a 3-0 start in his absence.

Gene Smith said Day's performance during that time helped persuade him to hire the 39-year-old first-time head coach to run the program when Meyer announced his plans to retire last week.

Hartline served as a quality-control coach during the 2017 season before he was promoted in late July. His receivers caught a school-record 43 touchdown passes during the team's 12-1 run to a Big Ten Championship.

A former Buckeye himself, Hartline has been a part of six conference championships in the six years he's been a part of the program. He played seven season in the NFL before returning to coach at his alma mater.