According to Florida’s athletic department, head coach Urban Meyer will be stepping down as their head coach this evening. Multiple sources have now confirmed the initial report and it is expected to be made official tonight during a press conference at 6:00 PM ET.
This is the second consecutive season that there were reports of Urban Meyer resigning his head coaching position. It was reported shortly after Florida’s SEC Championship Game loss to Alabama that due to health concerns, Meyer would be stepping down.
We all know what happened next. Meyer then decided not to step down and just take a leave of absence that would last through the 2010 season and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio would be the interim head coach in Meyer’s stead.
This time though, it does sound like he means it and it doesn’t look like the Florida athletic department will be able to change his mind.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen stated that he has known about this decision for “quite some time”, but couldn’t release the information until now.
AD Jeremy Foley confirmed the reports and said, “He’s given Gator fans and this program memories for a lifetime.”
According to a statement released by the university, Meyer and Foley sat down this weekend and Foley was told of Meyer’s resignation plans that were finalized on Tuesday. Meyer told his team during a meeting today and it will be made official this evening in a press conference.
The university’s release said that Meyer wanted to “focus on his family and life away from the field.”
Meyer will remain the Florida head coach throughout the Outback Bowl and will continue working with the university in Gainesville, but in a non coaching role.
Urban Meyer took the SEC and the college football world by storm when he stepped into the Swamp after two seasons in Utah and two prior years with Bowling Green.
Meyer became the Florida head football coach six years ago and his record stands at an impressive 64-15 with a pair of SEC and National Championships to his name. He took over a Florida program that was down following an unsuccessful run with Ron Zook on the sideline.
It took Meyer just two years to lead the Gators back to the top of the college football world when Florida throttled Ohio State in the National Championship game to give the Gators their first title in the post-Spurrier era.
He led Florida to a second National Title in 2008 when the Gators topped Oklahoma and was on the cusp of another Championship in 2009 before their perfect season was derailed by the eventual National Champion Alabama.
Now, with Meyer set to resign, where does Florida go now? The most obvious candidate will be former Florida offensive coordinator and current Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen. I have to think he will be the top candidate for the job and I do believe if the job his offered to him, he will bolt Starkville.
There are rumors about Meyer possibly resigning to take over the Denver Broncos head coaching job only because Tim Tebow is on that team. Those are just rumors and I see that as highly unlikely by what Meyer said in the universities statement.
For now, it appears that Florida’s Outback Bowl date with Penn State will be Meyer’s final game as a collegiate coach for the time being. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Meyer back to coaching again eventually, but it is very possible that this will be his final game as a head coach.
Regardless of your opinion about Urban Meyer, there is no doubt that with him resigning, college football is losing a heck of a football coach.
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