Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) and will not coach the Buckeyes when they face Illinois on Saturday, the school announced in a statement on Friday.
Defensive line coach Larry Johnson will serve as Ohio State's interim head coach.
News of Day's positive test comes days after reports that multiple Buckeyes players have tested positive for the coronavirus. While it didn't specify players, Ohio State confirmed "an increased number of positive tests this week for the coronavirus."
“I have spoken with Coach Day, and he is doing well physically,” Director of Athletics Gene Smith said in a statement. “I feel terrible for Coach and for the members of the program who have been diagnosed with a positive test. Coach Day and this team have been true leaders in handling things so well throughout this pandemic. Our team wants to play this game, and we’re going to do everything we can to help make this happen. All of the decisions on the welfare of our student-athletes and staff members will continue to be guided by our medical staff.”
Out of an abundance of caution, all Ohio State players, along with Tier I coaches and support staff will undergo PCR testing on Friday afternoon. As a result of the testing, the Buckeyes have delayed their flight to Champaign, Ill., until Saturday morning. Kickoff for the matchup between Ohio State and Illinois is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET.
Laying claim to a 4-0 record, the Buckeyes ranked fourth in the first edition of the College Football Playoff rankings that were released earlier this week. Ohio State previously had a Nov. 14 matchup vs. Maryland canceled due to an outbreak in the Terrapins' program.