Just 10 months after coaching his final game with the Florida Gators, Urban Meyer has agreed to don a whistle once again after deciding to become the next head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes beginning in 2012, sources confirmed to ESPN Monday.
Meyer, who has spent the 2011 college football season as an analyst for ESPN, has also been traveling around the country making appearances at events, viewing his daughters’ volleyball games and spending time at home in Gainesville, FL with his wife and son.
A two-time national champion at Florida, Meyer was named Coach of the Decade by Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News in 2009. He led the Gators to a 65-15 record with three 13-1 seasons while at the helm, was 36-13 in Southeastern Conference play and won five of the six bowl games Florida played in during his tenure.
Prior to signing with UF, Meyer won Coach of the Year after leading Utah to a BCS bowl in 2004 and going 22-2 in two seasons. He also went 17-6 from 2001-02 at Bowling Green.
Meyer initially resigned from his post with the Gators on Dec. 26, 2009 due to a health scare but changed his mind – choosing to take a leave of absence instead – and returned to the team on March 17, 2010 for the following season.
Florida went 8-5 during his final year at the helm, and Meyer resigned once again on Dec. 8, 2010 citing his health and decision to spend more time with his family. His final game with the Gators was a 37-24 victory over Penn State in the 2011 Outback Bowl.
An offensive coach at Ohio State from 1986-97, Meyer is a native of Ashtabula, OH who played and graduated from Cincinnati before receiving a master’s degree in sports administration from OSU.
He will take the reins of the Buckeyes from Luke Fickell, who was promoted from co-defensive coordinator to head coach after Jim Tressel was fired in the offseason. Fickell is expected to be retained on the staff at a to-be-announced position.
Tressel was head coach of Ohio State from 2001-10, winning one national championship (2002) and six Big Ten titles (2002, 2005-09) while at the helm.
He resigned in the spring of 2011 after the school learned that he withheld information and lied to NCAA investigators in order to keep players on the field. Tressel had already been suspended by OSU for failing to notify the school of NCAA violations.
The NCAA has yet to fully sanction the Buckeyes but is expected to do so in the offseason. Meyer accepted the Ohio State job aware that punishments are pending.
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