Jason Candle, Ryan Day Ohio State Buckeyes Head Coach

Normally Friends, Ryan Day and Jason Candle Will Be Foes Saturday

Toledo head coach Jason Candle has spent his entire coaching career in the state of Ohio. Candle started out at Mount Union where he was a receivers coach, then became the Purple Raiders’ offensive coordinator. In 2009 he moved to Toledo to coach slot receivers and tight ends, and he’s never left.

When former Rocket head coach Matt Campbell left for Iowa State after the 2015 season, Candle was promoted to head coach where he currently has a 47-27 career record. He has now coached in five of the Rockets’ 19 bowl games in their 105-year history.

Every coach’s path is different, and Candle’s is certainly different than Ohio State head coach Ryan Day’s. Day began at New Hampshire, then went to Boston College, then Florida, then Temple, back to Boston College, back to Temple, then back to Boston College one last time, then to the NFL for two years before landing at Ohio State as Urban Meyer’s quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator.

They have different tales to tell, but they both started their coaching careers at their respective alma maters, and then climbed the ladder.

Being in the same state but not necessarily the same stage has allowed the two to become friends.

“I know him pretty well, actually,” Day said of Candle on Tuesday. “Very, very good coach. He and I spent some time together during camps in the coaching circles, and he’s a very, very good coach. You can tell his teams are always prepared. He’s got a good team again this year. All you have to do is look back to last year and the way that they played in South Bend. You know, with the transfer portal, they’ve added some nice pieces. So, he runs a great program, and he’s got some good players. He’s got a really good staff.”

It may take a certain level of tolerance for a coach at an Ohio school to grow friendly with any head coach at Ohio State, no matter the sport. The Ohio State logo is impossible to ignore within the state’s borderes. After all, when at those camps that Day speaks about, both coaches are evaluating talent but Day can be more patient. He can also swoop in after Candle and coaches like him have spent countless hours building relationships with recruits and then sway an ear with just a single phone call.

But Candle isn’t the kind to hold grudges, and Day isn’t the kind to create them.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Coach Day. I think he does it the right way,” Candle said. “I think he arguably has the hardest job in America. He had to replace a legend and a guy that’s won at the ultimate level. I think he’s done a great job of coming in there and commanding the respect that he deserves through hard work and energy. And he’s put a staff around him that commands the same amount of respect because of who they are as people.

“So yeah, we’re friends and he does a really good job and he’s a guy that is on the cutting edge of how to play offensive football and has been for years. He’s a guy I have a lot of respect for, and like I said I think at the core of it though, I think first and foremost he’s a great man, and a great husband and a great father, and that’s very evident. I think that’s probably why he’s been able to have the success he’s had thus far in his career.”

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