Florida Gator head coach Urban Meyer has finally figured out what was wrong that caused his severe chest pains and a leave of absence away from a team that he led to two national championships in a three-year span.
This week, Meyer announced that he was diagnosed with esophageal spasms, but said that he currently feels “fantastic.”
The Southeastern Conference’s spring meetings took place on Tuesday, and Meyer addressed the issue.
“The biggest thing is I wanted to find out what those darn chest pains were and I did,” Meyer said. “It’s esophageal spasms and they’ve got me on some medications. I’ve just got to be smarter in the future and I’m going to be. I’m not going to let that happen again.”
“But the biggest thing was all that was related to what the heck were those pains going through my chest. Once you find out what it is, life gets a little better quickly.”
Back in December Meyer announced his resignation from the team, but later said it was a leave of absence. Meyer coached the Gators to victory in the Sugar Bowl over Cincinnati and then took a break from the team.
Meyer stated that the official diagnosis was actually told to him back in January, and he has since been free of pain.
“It all relates to one pain, and that was waking up every morning with a toothache in your chest for the last three years and that’s all related to one thing,” Meyer stated. “And so, since late January is the last time I had any issues at all with that.”
Esophageal spasms is a condition that is known to cause very bad pains in the chest area, often being confused for a heart problem by the sufferer.
Meyer did not do much recruiting leading up to signing day in February, not traveling at all in January.
Still, the Gator locked up a top class that some consider the best in the nation.
Meyer got back onto the field in March for spring practice with his team, but has still taken several weeks off after that included a trip to the 2010 Masters in April.
“I feel fantastic,” said Meyer, who will turn 46 next month. “I think I’ve got a better appreciation for the guys around me. When you just bolt for five days — I’ve never done that in my life. I just say, ‘Hey you guys got it, handle it.’ And the stadium’s still standing, as a matter of fact guys are working out, getting faster, graduating. It’s going well.”
There will be a significant change for Meyer this season, who will be coaching up a new quarterback after the Tim Tebow era in Florida came to an end. In his place with be John Brantley.
Still, Online Sportsbooks believe that the Gators will be among the contenders for the 2011 BCS National Championship, as the SEC has won the last four.