Urban Meyer hired to coach Ohio State Buckeyes

By Adam Silverstein
November 28, 2011

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.

Photo Credit: ESPN


  1. cline says:

    Thanks for the rings but you are now GATOR BAIT!

  2. Mr2Bits says:

    Wait a second, just a day ago, he said he knew nothing about this job that he just wanted to enjoy Thanksgiving with his family??? I wonder in a few years when his team is going his way what excuse he will use to leave OSU. Maybe when the ND job is going to open up?

  3. Jesse C says:

    I wonder if Urban is going to try to bring the spread option to the Big 10? Oh wait, that was only successful with Mullen as the OC.

  4. Greg A says:

    I wish him happiness at OSU but lets be honest here, Meyer can’t handle stress. He likes the adoration and power of being THE coach at a premier school like UF and OSU but you folks in Buckeye land have no more than 2-3 years of him ahead of you. If he doesn’t start winning Big 10 championships he’ll suddenly have health and/or family issues again and will ride out of town yet again. Thanks for the memories and Nat’l Championships coach but as a person, I can’t respect you.

  5. HardToKillGator says:

    I need to remember the coach will come and go. The school doesn’t.

  6. CH says:

    No Dan Mullen
    No Charlie Strong
    No Tim Tebow
    Less Desire/Passion
    Less committment
    Possible NCAA sanctions

    Good Luck Urban

    • Tim says:

      Sounds like Bowling Green and Utah. Did just fine there. Pull your panties out of your rear, the guy won 2 titles here. 2 x’s that of Spurrier against better competition. You’ll be okay.

  7. G8trpls says:

    Well said, Greg A. I hope his esophageal spasms don’t flair up.

  8. Will says:

    I somehow feel cheated. Ten months was all you needed for your health to get better and to watch all of your kids’ games? Wow.
    Good luck as gator bait. The Big 10 is weak anyway.

  9. Daniel M. says:

    We’s wuz duped.

    No NFL coach has ever built an elite franchise and then done it again elsewhere. Off hand, I know of no college coach that has done it either.

    Urban will be sitting in Florida living rooms telling recruits to not go to Florida and to come on up to Ohio. Sure leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

    • DGLBkGATOR FAN says:

      Nick Saban has done it but I get your point it doesnt happen all the time. I hardly care that he left whether it was health reasons personal reasons he didnt look like he cared at times the last couple of seasons he looked bored. I’m focused on the gators now and the coach they have now hopefully we see OSU in another BCS title game then we can worry about Urban.

    • Gatorgrad79 says:

      If it’s a recruit we want, our coaches just need to follow him into those living rooms and remind them that he lied to everyone in Fla multiple times…trust that if you want, is all I’m saying.

  10. gator says:

    Stop the lying and man up urban.you were never really a Gator now get out of my State and don’t come back.

  11. npgator says:

    He should do well up there since the schools are pretty average as compared to Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, USC and Georgia.

  12. Tampa Gator Girl says:

    Hey Adam – I just got word from a very reliable source that Urban Meyer never really was sick. It was his wife that cheated on him and he just could not deal with his personal issues at that time. Any truth to this?

  13. Ron Jon says:

    Yeah she cheated on him with a real man bc he’s a coward

  14. John S says:

    All together pretty shady at the end. It seems the only reason he came back for the last year was to give his staff time to find employment elsewhere. Feel bad for Foley and Machen, talk about understanding management.

    In fairness, he did bring us success and Tebow. I do wonder if he planned on leaving after the end of 2009 season in January 2008 when Tim decided to come back. It would explain why our players were so poorly developed. He focused on that year, and that class.

    I would be embarassed to use my family and health as an excuse and then less than a year later hop right back in there. That doesn’t sound like a family man to me, it sounds like an arrogant selfish man scared of competition.

    I love that his agent thinks ESPN is being unprofessional “Look if Urban lies to you and doesn’t respect your contract just keep your mouth shut.” Chances are the mother ship won’t be giving him the love when he’s in Columbus.

  15. g8rjenn says:

    Don’t let the door hit you in the @ss on the way out of Gainesville. Spineless liar.

  16. Tom says:

    Meyer’s entire career was defined by Tebow. Within a few hours of our three TD loss to Bama while using the greatest Spread QB in college football history, Meyer realized the spread wasn’t going to work any longer in the loaded SEC. I’m sure it did cause him heartache, but maybe not as serious as we were led to believe. With no other QB in the pipeline, and having let Cam Newton out of town, I really believe he just quit at that point.

    I was one of his stronger supporters and defended him, but now I realize my head was buried in the sand.

    I don’t know that the “new” Meyer is going to be as successful at OSU, but knowing that the spread has seen it’s day in the SEC, aren’t we better off to thank him for the two titles and move on with a system that will allow us to win without him?

  17. Tim says:

    You guys are out of your damn minds. The guy goes 13 – 1 three times, wins two titles and you sound like a bunch of scorned women. Cry for me babies. Cry…LOL…

    Good luck Urban. Thank you for all you did here. We were lucky to have you. We could have been stuck with Zook for 5 more years.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Maybe because we were scorned. UF is an elite program has been for 25 years. He was incredibly disenguous. We all understood why he retired the first time although we were shocked, then we understood why he retired the 2nd time because his health just couldnt hold up to it and he wantet d to watch his kids grow up…aside from the presser quote from obgator, there was also the “I love Gainesville, I don’t expect to leave here before my youngest child graduates” as well. We respected what he had done for us and felt compassionate for why he left. We all knew he would coach again, but figured it would be a 3-5 year break at least, not less than a year later.

      OSU and UF are definitely top 5 coaching jobs along with USC, Texas,Oklahoma, and Jeremy Foley is arguably the best AD in the country and by all accounts (except for Spurrier I would guess), a great guy to work for.

      I think he will find that it is a lot easier to get Ohio athletes to come to Florida than it is to get Florida athletes to go to Ohio….

  18. Swell Miguel says:

    He watched his kids play for 10 months before he realized they stink just like 99% of the other rich kids out there. Apparently, it’s enough to drive a man back to a job that nearly killed him.

  19. GatorCooken says:

    I may not be happy about how soon this came about, but I cannot fault him for taking the job. Adam, his father recently passed away as well correct? And that part of his family is still in Ohio if I’m not mistaken? I may not like the decision, but I can respect it. He brought us two NC’s, so we can in turn, be civil at least. Thanks Urban, good luck at OSU, except when playing the Gators.

  20. Luke says:

    Congrats, Urban! Two top 5 head coaching jobs in under a decade, plus a year off from work, is something most of us wish we had. I can’t say I don’t wish you were still here, but maybe when we find out Muschamp is over his head, we’ll hire a winner like Chris Peterson and he’ll stick around.

    BTW, the rumor is that Urban cheated on Shelley, not the other way around… Decent looking men with money on a college campus have a lot to watch out for, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he did mess around. That would explain the year to reconnect with the family and the heart aching…

    • Tim says:

      I hear ya Luke but be careful what you wish for with Peterson. The last Boise State “winner” got his butt handed to him when he went to a big boy conference and was fired in 4 years. I trust our guys for now. For NOW….LOL.

      • Luke says:

        That is true; Dan Hawkins blew it and the Broncos play in the little leagues, but I still was hoping we’d at least talk to him for the HC job. I’m all for hoping we get things turned around, but it doesn’t matter what we do, 2006-2008 was probably the best run of any major athletics program and it’s going to be a long road back to glory.

        I wouldn’t be too surprised if we meet OSU and Meyer in the Outback or Capital One bowl in the next few years. Go Gators!

    • Gatorgrad79 says:

      I’ve seen Shelley up close – she probably beat the s__t out of him!

  21. jim says:

    I’m sure Meyer looks at OSU’s 2012 schedule, which contains; UCF, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Indiana, UAB, and even now PSU and says, “heck yea, I can get up for the Wisconsin and Michigan game. This is gonna be a LOT easier than Saban, Spurrier, Petrino, or even Miles and the week to week SEC grind.”

    I all get that SEC competition was too much for you. We’re fine with all that, really. But, just keep it real.

  22. swiftt_tech69 says:

    Petirno left atl, saban left the dolphins, coaches come and go. He did a lot for uf 2 titles 22 game win streak. People are acting like urban made them a personal promise to never leave. This is the business of college football, coaches come and go as do players…and that is what makes it so exciting. I can’t wait to see what muschamp and weis can do in a few years. This is not the acc, u can’t lose that much talent and not take steps back. Bama was not very good when saban first got there….look at em now. Woosah….give it time guys.

    • John S says:

      I think people are upset that he lied. If you listen to the press conferences from a year ago, probably available on youtube, and you can’t think any different. If he would have said “this just isn’t any fun anymore and I’d like to move on, we’ve accomplished a lot but I need some time off and I don’t want to have UF wait for me”, this wouldn’t be that bad.

  23. Nick says:

    Man I’d be pretty pissed off if I were Elam(Do you know what faith is?) or Easley(He said he would die for me) or anyone else who bought into his lies. I wonder if he will cut and run if things don’t go as planned at OSU?

  24. CeeThree says:

    whatever. I just hope we have a chance to meet him down the road with it all on the line.

  25. obgator says:

    “What I didn’t want to have happen, and I made this clear to [Foley], if I am able to go coach, I want to coach at one place, the University of Florida.

    “It would be a travesty, it would be ridiculous to all of a sudden come back and get the feeling back, get the health back, feel good again and then all of a sudden go throw some other colors on my shirt and go coach.”

    That’s really all that needs to be said for those defending Urban. Sure, he did a hell of a job for us, but the health and family excuses were obviously just a front for wanting to take a break and then coach somewhere else.

    I would have no problems if he were honest about his reason for retiring and intention to coach again, asap. We knew he’d coach again, but 10 months removed from the retirement? I didn’t know his son Nate already graduated from college, had gotten married and has a job now. So much for watching the kids grow up.

    I just hope Coach Muschamp is wearing a shirt with the above-noted quote when he speaks to 5 star recruits considering either UF or osu.

  26. Bobg says:

    How long before we don’t have to see pictures of Meyer in Gator gear?

    He simply was not honest. I have been on other forums where he was consistently called “Urban Liar”, and I defended him passionately. What a chump I am.

    People point to Tebow as a big accomplishment. Golly. He talked the kid into playing at the school he adored, about 75 miles from home– instead of going to Alabama which was struggling with the collapse of the Shula era. The two “lightening in a bottle” years do not compensate in my mind for the disarray in which he left the program; and the feeling of bitterness in the Gator Nation.

    • Gatorgrad79 says:

      Check your facts – Meyer did not go get Tebow -MULLEN TALKED HIM INTO GOING BACK AFTER TIM WHEN HE HAD DECIDED FOR BAMA – Meyer was letting him go, and Mullen talked all through the night on a jet during a recruiting flight, and talked meyer into going back after Tim again. Meyer was not the one who recognized Tim’s talent…

  27. SaraGator says:

    Urban is exactly like the title in his biography, “Urban’s Way”. He is about Urban first (ever noticed he sometimes talks about himself in the 3rd person?), family second.

    We were blind to it because be brought us SEC titles, NC trophies, and a Heisman winner. But our first clue was when he spurned his “dream” job, Notre Dame to coach at Florida. Somebody told him that it’s easier to win at Florida than Notre Dame. It’s the same now at Ohio State. I think he knows he wasn’t going to win for a few years because of his recruits and coaching carousel. He is now entering Ohio State who a quality quarterback and a much easier schedule.

    I laugh at his statement that he didn’t like the state of college football a year ago. Does he like it better now??? His third “dream” school, Ohio State is facing sanctions and a coach he admires dearly just got fired because he ignored a child rape allegation witnessed by one of his coaches.

    Personally, I had moved on from him. When I look at Urban, I’m indifferent. He’s another program’s coach. Who I feel for is Shelly and the kids. Remember, Urban quit on them twice, too.

  28. Aligator says:

    Well at least we got to date the pretty girl for a while. He will be at OSU until he gets bored and then go coach at Notre Dame when Kelly gets fired. At that point he will be out of dream jobs? At this point is this really not just enabling someone?

    • Ken (CA) says:

      And how do we know he will end up at ND? Because that is the one school he insisted a couple of years ago that he would never coach at even though it was his dream job “at one point, but not anymore because I love Florida”

  29. Scooterp says:

    Isn’t “I need to get away from coaching to spend more time with my family and get my health in order” a polite and politically correct way of saying “I’m burned out and need time away”? I don’t get all the hatred. You can block out the 6 years if you want and return to the Zook years, but I’ll look back at the UM Years as the greatest era we’ve ever had. 2 NC , 2 SEC titles, Heisman trophy, top 5 recruiting classes and we became THE premiere football program under his watch. Don’t kid yourselves, we we’re under Nebraska’s and FSU’s shadow in the 90’s, as good ad we were. But while Meyer was here we were the center of the CFB universe. But you want to get hung up on what the real underlying reason is that he left. WHO CARES! I’m just thankful for the time he was here….. So go cry and whine and belly-ache over it and embarrass yourselves like fans at the other programs. We’ll never 100% know what the reason anyway. But knock yourself out.

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