Contact between a slider and a magnetic recording disk is modeled as transient contact of a sphere on a moving flat. The sphere is assumed to be rigid, and the flat is treated as an elastic-plastic body with isotropic hardening. Heat generation is related to friction at the contact interface. Dimensionless solutions are obtained for maximum temperature rise, maximum contact force, maximum contact area, and maximum penetration as a function of dimensionless vertical initial velocity of the sphere. It is observed that transient thermomechanical contact with elastic-plastic deformation deviates from “classical theories” for dynamic elastic and quasi-static elastic-plastic contacts as the dimensionless vertical initial velocity of the sphere increases. The results are applied to optimize the slider-disk interface in a hard disk drive with respect to slider-disk contacts.