The shock waves are running deep in the world of football tonight. The current “Godfather of the spread option” is hanging it up. Urban Meyer has announced that he would step down as head football coach at the University of Florida after two plus decades in college football.
His record speaks for itself: 95-18 and 5-1 in bowl games as a head coach, an 84.1 winning percentage as a head coach in the regular season, two SEC titles (and three division titles), two Mountain West titles. two BCS titles, twice voted coach of the year, 41-13 in conference play. He is No. 2 in victories among active coaches with 5+ years in the FBS. Meyer is the only coach ever to reach 50 victories in less then 60 games.
He spent 15 years across four different programs (Ohio St., Illinois St. Colorado St. and Notre Dame) sharpening his skills as an assistant before getting the head coaching position at Bowling Green University in 2001. He managed to accomplish all of this in just 23.5 years in the coaching profession, after a playing career with the Cincinnati Bearcats from 1983-1986, and at the age of just 45 years old.
It is said that he had ignored his health for many years until recently, but checked into a hospital a day after The Gators lost the SEC title game to Alabama, citing health reasons at that time. He had always said that becoming the head coach at Notre Dame would be his “Dream Job” since he was a devout follower of the Roman Catholic faith, but when the job became available several weeks back, he quickly held a press conference and proclaimed that he would be the coach of the Gators “for as long as they will have me.”
Already the vultures of sports media are circling around the story wondering “just how serious is his health crisis,” although there are no reasons as of yet to believe that his health is in immediate danger at this time.
Could it be that at 45, Meyer feels it’s time for a short break to “recharge” the batteries? He has reached the pinnacle of success as a football man. You can’t say that he was hurting for the cash. The only coaches who earned more them him in 2009 were Pete Carroll and Charlie Weis. So why not take a break for a bit? He’s earned it, hasn’t he? His family sure feels he does.