BREAKING NEWS: Urban Meyer will take leave rather than resign as Florida Gators head coach

By Adam Silverstein
December 27, 2009

Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer, who announced Saturday night that he was stepping down from his position, has changed his mind and decided to take an indefinite leave of absence instead, according to numerous sources. Meyer will coach the Gators in the 2010 Sugar Bowl against the Cincinnati Bearcats before ceding the job to offensive coordinator Steve Addazio, who will be named interim coach in his stead. Adazzio confirmed this arrangement in a telephone interview with The New York Times.

Meyer’s change of heart began Sunday morning, when he was at an early practice on campus at the University of Florida watching his players. He spoke with the team before their plane departed for New Orleans, LA, and informed them of the news, which was greeted with relief and excitement sources say. Even with this decision, Meyer returning to Florida is not imminent – he could still decide to step away at any time if he feels coming back is not in the best interest of his health and well-being.

“There’s no guarantees here,” a source told the Associated Press. “He could still walk away. He’s got some significant concerns about his health and his tank and his family. But instead of cutting the cord, he’s going to take a step back and see how he feels.”

The Independent Florida Alligator is reporting that “there has been no timetable set on his return, though [a] source said it could be as early as next season.” Mark Schlabach of ESPN made a similar report, stating that “Meyer […] would take a leave of absence and return to the team before the 2010 season” in a proposed situation. However, a source close to the program told ESPN‘s Chris Mortensen that “Meyer would take a leave of absence for the entirety of the 2010 season.”

Athletic director Jeremy Foley gave Meyer an option to take a leave of absence approximately a week to 10 days ago when the two first spoke about the possibility of Meyer stepping down. Though he did not consider it an option then, apparently he has changed his mind since.

OGGOA will continue updating this story as more information is made available. Meyer is set to hold a press conference in New Orleans Sunday at 4:30 p.m. (EST). It will also air live online here.

12 Comments

  1. Orange Hulk says:

    Not to make light of a serious situation but what is this the “Billy Donovan Amateur Hour”. You think this over for a week with family, the AD and Machen and make a decision to step down but to coach the Sugar Bowl; in less than 24 hours you are not coaching the SB but will be back for the 2010 season. Urban I hope your health does improve but since last night you have made my heart weaker for the long term as well.

  2. Mr2Bits says:

    This is just a freaking shit show. This is the worst thing I could have asked for. I said no Adazzio no way no how. How does an ass wipe like Adazzio get the keys handed to him when he clearly can’t ride in the back seat let alone drive. I am not happy.

  3. Uncle Sil says:

    What is with UF Coaches and second guessing their decisions?

  4. ReptilesRule says:

    I can see the reason for the second guessing…The University of Florida is the best job in football and a damn hard place to leave. Many retirees are trying to get back because it is such a great place to live…

  5. On this, I have no opinion right now. Can’t wait until he speaks within the next few minutes.

  6. White.Gator says:

    Anybody but Addazio. Would rather have Bobby or Terry Bowden.

  7. White.Gator says:

    Foley and whoever else made this decision has made 11 SEC schools happy in addition to Florida State and Miami. Let’s start a petition to get Ron Zook back.

  8. Mr2Bits says:

    Honestly, what the hell is going on. If you are going to step down then step down Urban. Leaving Adazzio to run the program is fucking ridiculous and pisses me off. The CEO of a company doesn’t take a vacation and leave his secretary to run the damn company.

  9. Mr2Bits says:

    Just watched the rest of the presser. This whole thing stinks like a Tiger sex scandal. Why would Urban come out with this now? Why not wait until after NSD or the bowl game. Every team in the country is going to start having a mental field day with our recruits now.

    Something stinks in Gainesville. This whole debacle was handled like a damn circus.

  10. I think everyone needs to take a breath and calm down. I know someone who had to go to the hospital, went into work on a Friday and quit his job because of the stress and toll it was taking on him. After a week, he went back into the company, asked for his job back and they gave it to him. Nothing “stinks” regarding this situation. Meyer made the initial announcement as soon as he could for the school. This being leaked (and trust me, it would have) would have been even worse than them coming out with the statement.

    You cannot wait until after NSD and deceive all of those recruits – that is not fair. Worrying about what the other schools are going to do is of no matter – most of the Gators recruits have already said they are staying or likely staying.

    As far as Addazio, he is the senior member of the staff. There is no DC and he is the OC. He is the interim head coach – not the NEW head coach. There is a big difference there. It is someone to steer the ship while Meyer takes a nap below the deck – think of it that way.

  11. Miamigator says:

    Disappeared again!

  12. Miami- I am not quite sure what issue you are having. Every comment you have made over the past few days has been approved. You may be forgetting which post you are commenting on because there have been so many. –Adam

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