Big Ten

Buckeyes make Urban Meyer Big Ten's highest-paid coach


Buckeyes make Urban Meyer Big Ten's highest-paid coach

Urban Meyer has a national championship win and a 38-3 record in three seasons as the Ohio State head football coach.

Monday, the school rewarded that success with a reworked contract that makes Meyer the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten and keeps him on the job through 2020.

"Urban Meyer has done an excellent job strengthening our culture of commitment to academics, career development and winning championships," Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith said in the school's announcement. "Our young men continue to thrive under his leadership, whether on the playing field where they are national champions, through life skills pursuits like Real Life Wednesdays, 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."

[MORE BIG TEN: No surprise: J.T. Barrett won't suit up for Buckeyes' spring game]

Meyer's old contract paid him $4.9 million a year and ran through the 2017 season. Now Meyer has three more years tacked on and will average $6.5 million over the next six years.

"I am honored to serve as football coach at The Ohio State University and to represent this great university," Meyer said in the announcement. "It is a privilege to coach and mentor the young men in this program, and I want to thank President (Michael) Drake and Mr. Smith for their support and their trust in me."

Meyer's national championship win in January was his third and the program's eighth. In addition to that remarkable 38-3 overall record, he's won every Big Ten regular-season game he's coached in, with just one defeat coming in the 2013 Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State.

[MORE BIG TEN: Instagram violation won't affect Braxton Miller's eligibility]

This past season, Meyer was universally praised for a sensational coaching job in the face of the loss of star running back Carlos Hyde and not one but two season-ending injuries to Heisman-candidate quarterbacks in Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett. But the Buckeyes won the Big Ten title and defeated SEC champion Alabama and Pac-12 champion Oregon en route to the first-ever College Football Playoff championship, with stars emerging in quarterback Cardale Jones and running back Ezekiel Elliott.

The new contract appears to make Meyer the second highest-paid coach in college football, trailing only Alabama's Nick Saban. Meyer was previously the sixth highest-paid head coach and ranked second in the Big Ten only to Michigan State's Mark Dantonio. New Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh could wind up making more in 2015 when you combine his $5 million salary and $2 million signing bonus.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Northwestern set to play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020

Weeks will separate a perfect 10-year anniversary where Northwestern will play at Wrigley Field for one of its regular season games in the upcoming years.

Back on Nov. 20, 2010, the Wildcats battled it out with Illinois, known as the “Wrigleyville Classic,” which saw the Illini take a 48-27 win.

Even though it’s still two years out, Northwestern still planned ahead and announced its opponent for its game at Wrigley Field on Nov. 7, 2020, against Big Ten rival Wisconsin.

“Obviously an exciting opportunity for our football program to come back to Wrigley Field, one of the Cathedrals of sporting venues in the world,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When I announced it to our team, they were absolutely ecstatic.”

“The opportunity to play at Wrigley field is unique to us, being Chicago’s Big Ten team, and to have the chance to come down and play in an atmosphere like we did a few years back was a bowl game type atmosphere, and I look forward to this special opportunity.”

This game though will be a little different than it was back in 2010. Both the Wildcats and Illini played toward the west end zone due to a tight squeeze near the right field wall due to box seats that were added down the third base line.

Now, Northwestern and Wisconsin do not have to worry about that problem because the bullpens have since moved to the outfield.

Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney spoke at a news conference earlier on Tuesday at Wrigley.

“So excited to welcome back Northwestern to Wrigley Field to talk about football again,” Kenney said. “We had an incredible experience with them back in 2010."

Kenney also mentioned new seating is on a temporary platform that can all be removed and the dugout tops can be removed as well, and the field will expand west, to allow for a longer field.

With a sellout crowd in the last go around for the Wildcats, don’t be surprised for another sellout at the Friendly Confines.