Meyer’s legacy in college football a mixed bag

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Urban Meyer was the head football coach at Florida from 2005 to 2010. [Alan Youngblood/Staff photographer]

My wife woke me up with the news this morning that Urban Meyer decided to retire at Ohio State after the Rose Bowl.

All I could think about was that I’ve lived this story before.

Twice.

Back in 2009, it was stunning news. In 2010, it was a surprise, but not totally a shock. It was hardly a stunner Tuesday after we watched him coach this year.

There were times when he looked like his head was going to explode and he was trying to hold the top of his head so it wouldn’t come loose. That’s no way to live and he finally saw the light.

Of course, there is going to be plenty of cynicism because of his last two exits. The Browns. Notre Dame, Auburn? Where will he resurface next?

“I believe I will not coach again,” he said.

And yet, he said he would never coach anywhere but Florida when he left here. And he said he would coach at Florida in 2011. And he said this year he would be coaching next year.

So I get why you should be skeptical and make the easy jokes.

Nobody can blame you.

But it seems clear that the health problems that have plagued him throughout his career never went away. No matter how you feel about Meyer, nobody wants to see him collapse on the sidelines and be carted away.

Hopefully, he gets it, that a man with a cyst on his brain should be doing something other than living in the high-pressure world of elite football. And that if he sits out a year and feels better it doesn’t mean the problems have disappeared.

Make no mistake about it, this is all about the way he feels when he is stressed out and it’s not pretty. It is interesting that he said he is leaving Ohio State because the program is in great shape but he left Florida because it was broken.

Which is why Gator fans are still struggling to forgive him and many never will.

That’s not the case with the Buckeye Nation. He was always one of them. Here, it was more about his record and the resume he was building. There was always a disconnect at UF.

All we know for sure is that he is a tremendous coach, one of the best of all time (186-32 at four schools is ridiculous). The legacy he leaves behind, if he truly is leaving it behind for good, is a mixed bag of arrests, the whole Zach Smith drama, his suspension that resulted and incredible on the field success.

And for a control freak, his inability to control what people think about him has to sting.

Meyer is a complex person to say the least. My relationship with him was always tremendous, which put me in a minority among the writers in this state. I often defended him leaving UF and appealed to Gator fans to remember the championships he won.

But after the events that came out this preseason, I was done.

Still, when he retired today, I sent him a text wishing him well in the future. Not surprisingly, his cell had been changed and it went undelivered.

I wondered out loud that — if he is truly finished as a coach — if somewhere down the road he might get into the Ring of Honor. He’s the only person eligible who has not been inducted.

“Time heals a lot of wounds,” my wife said to me.

Yes, but the wound that really needs to be healed is the one that is in his head. Football will be just fine without Urban Meyer. So will Ohio State. And I’m more sure he can be fine without football in his life.

I hope he has figured that out.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at pat.dooley@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.

 

74 COMMENTS

  1. I posted on FB and told my sons and friends back in August , as soon as the assistant coach thing went down at OSU, that UM would resign by the end of the season. He is not happy the school threw him under the bus , and he is a reputation freak. The guy needs psych help. He sees things differently . I said then I think he will go back out west and probably coach Southern Cal in two years. Still, regardless of his personal quirks and penchant for drama, they guy was a great coach here. I know many of us blame him for nearly 10 years of futility, but I don’t. You can’t pin one guy for a bad decade. A year or two , yes, but not 10 years. Plus, that is a cliche that sounds better than it really is. He coached us to two national championships and I will take that any day. Although I may not believe anything the man says , I still think he is an excellent coach and not a guy I would want to give a month to in order to prep for a single game if he were my opponent.

    • He’s certainly not to blame for the 10 years of mediocrity, but he’s definitely to blame for getting the ball rolling in that direction. He said it himself when he left, that the program was broken. The crappy coaching hires afterward just got the ball rolling downhill even faster. He’s for sure a great coach, no one can question that, but it’s the decisions he makes off the field that are questionable. One thing’s for certain, he’s leaving OSU in much better shape than when he left here and can’t be blamed for any potential downfall there. Hopefully Day’s a little bit better at handling pressure, cause he’s going to have a lot on his shoulders that’s for sure.

      • I agree , particularly about his off the field stuff. I always thought he was a drama queen. He used to try to sound like a news reporter and, in a business-like way, say stuff like “this is the most important off season in Florida history.” He jinxed us when he said “we have our foot firmly on the neck of college football.”‘ Very arrogant and we got humbled and now so has he. He must have named three different QB’s he has coached in the last 10 years as possibly the”greatest in college football history”. The sickness , the resignation here and then the change of mind, etc. It’s like watching a soap opera. If they ever made a movie, Jack Nicholson should play him.

  2. So did Urban Meyer pat you on the head and give you a grin, then you got all wobbly-kneed and proceeded to facilitate the propaganda of Meyer and the UAA? Calling player arrests and the Zach Smith debacle part of a “mixed bag” is a prime example of journalistic standards being compromised and corrupted for access. Meyer sacrificed the standards and reputations of UF and OSU in order to win at the highest level. Administrators, journalists and fans looked the other way as it happened at both programs.

  3. Meyer will be back this is the same thing that happened to us. He’ll sit out a year and look for a good landing spot. It will be hard to turn down the money they will be throwing at him to come back. He’s won a championship everywhere he has gone and is considered one of the top two coaches in the last 10 years. I hope for our sake that FSU’s coach WT doesn’t get fired next year and they go for him to turn the program around. He recruits like crazy in Florida and would be a home run hire for any program. He either agreed to leave after the season was over so he wouldn’t get fired or he’s running from the problems that he created and needs a new start somewhere else. His head problems have been with him for 10 plus years and that didn’t stop him from doing what he loved. I doubt it will now either.

  4. The head coach of Ohio State just retired. Why should we care? This is like paying attention and giving significance to your ex-wife’s divorce from the hot dude she had been dating and ultimately married, after she dumped you like a little biatch.

    Woody Hayes. Charlie Baumann. Tell me who is the little biatch in this scenario.

  5. My son is a professor at Ohio State, and here is how the Meyer story played out from a faculty point of view. When the decision on Meyer was announced, the faculty senate was outraged. It wasn’t so much the decision, although that was clearly some of it, but the process. The faculty senate’s position was that Urban Meyer was a university employee and any investigation regarding professional conduct should have been conducted according to the same well-established procedures that any other employee would have been subjected to. This position may have been naive, but it was technically correct. Instead, of course, the problem was kicked upstairs to the University’s Board of Trustees. The faculty senate demanded a meeting with the university president. According to my son, the president said that initially the Trustees didn’t want to hand down any sanctions at all, but the president convinced them that to do so would harm the reputation of the university immeasurably. The faculty senate was hardly modified, holding that another employee under the same circumstances would have faced far harsher punishment, probably dismissal, and that it sent the message that football was more important at Ohio State than its mission as an academic institution, which is probably true for most Ohioans. So as the pigs said in Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

    • Columbia, interesting. If the faculty senate would have ousted him the season would have been in shambles. I am sure that the though of damaging the cash cow was the most important issue even if it jeopardized the integrity of the system. Refrain to you closing of equal or more equal.

    • While I agree with the premise of your post, holding up professors as some sort of beacon of impartiality is far from reality. Many are narcissistic, sheltered individuals who abuse their power more than any person would be able to pull off in the private sector. I know this firsthand. “Faculty Senate”. Oh brother. Can you imagine if a bunch of wal-mart middle managers got together and proclaimed to be some sort of governing body? There are many stories of professors ruining student’s status over fake rape claims and political demagoguing who receive zero punishment from the administration. So while you are correct in general I would say it applies to many employees of universities, and yes some are more equal than others and many of those are professors.

  6. JIM, you are spot on with most of your comments.

    The difference between Meyer and Saban lies in Saban’s uncanny ability to hire good assistants that he can delegate to, allowing him to ride heard over the program as a whole. He knows how to avoid letting troublemakers get inside his program and how to pace himself. Meyer has never figured out how to avoid the troublemakers, or how to pace himself.

    The results for Meyer are now a twice established pattern: spectacular success on the field over his first 5 years at a school, followed by accruing personnel problems inside his program, followed by declining personal interest and health, followed by eventual burnout and bail-out.

    You may also be right in assuming Meyer may have one more run left in him. However, don’t worry about that run taking place in Tally. The FSU administration is committed to Taggart and will give him at least 4 years to succeed or fail before making any change. Meyer won’t wait that long before making his next move, if he’s ever going to make one at all.

    USC, as mentioned above by mkf, is a far more likely landing spot for Meyer since it has all the ingredients he looks for in a HC job. It’s one of the traditional elite programs in college football. It has weak competition in a conference that has recently declined as a whole. It has built-in regional recruiting advantages. Finally, and most critically, it will likely have a HC vacancy after next season, thereby affording Meyer the year off he needs to rest and recharge his battery.

    I’m in an apparent minority of Gator faithful who is grateful for the two NCs Meyer delivered us before bailing out. I blame Foley, not Meyer, for the decade of mediocrity that followed our last NC.

    Let’s see whether Meyer can resist a call from the Trojans… if it comes.

    Go Gators!!!

    • STL gator- Ride herd, not heard. I mention it because I see that quite often so I dont think it is a typo. I mention it, not to be critical but if I had no clothes on i would hope someone would tell me rather than let me run around looking foolish.
      Jaws-“100% to blame for the 10 years …now that we got rid…things are moving” Your logic defies sense! Now, isnt 10 years ago. OSU just “now” got rid of him not us. How does 10 years ago make “things ..move” in the present? The fact that it took 10 years and a new coach is prima facie evidence that it has little or nothing to do with Meyer. It has everything to do with Muschamp and then McElwain being bad coaches, period! Get a great coach and it immediately changed this year. Your irrational hatred and lack of gratitude are showing thru in your illogical, knee jerk comments.

      • Thanks for the catch Daz. Homonyms and fast typing don’t always work well together.

        On your other comment to Jaws, I suggest you read our detailed discussion on that specific topic posted on this site by MexiGator. Basically, it took 10 years to address the Gators’ football mediocrity because Foley was our AD for 9 of those years and he refused to accept the underlying problems.

        Foley was more committed to building and FINANCING an overall elite athletic program at UF, than just an elite football program. So, he kept hiring inferior HBCs after Meyer quit that were willing to accept the job as was and made no waves about its limitations.

        When Stricklin took over in 2016, he took one look at the state of the football program, was horrified and began to address it immediately. In one year, he fired McElwayne, who was taking us nowhere and hired Mullen, who is a program builder. He also shifted long-term FINANCING priorities to help close the gap that has existed between UF and elite football programs like Bama and Clemson since at least 2007.

        Stricklin’s changes to the Gator football program are already bearing fruit. Just take a look at how our 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes are shaping up!

        Go Gators!!!

  7. Were Tim Tebow not the face of the program when Meyer was here, UF’s reputation would have rivaled that of the ‘Canes during their heyday in the 80s.

    Meyer left a broken program, and then had the absolute, unmitigated gall to negatively recruit against UF using the broken state of the program as ammunition. He is a lying, self-serving, son of a female dog, whose name has no place in the Ring of Honor, because he has no honor. If UF ever puts it up there I will be perp walked for smearing with an appropriately foul substance.

    Good riddance to bad trash. I hope he stays gone permanently this time.

      • If you truly believe that he is more to this program than SOS, then you are ridiculous; or a Buckeye plant. The two NC’s were not worth the shambles we have suffered until the return of Dan Mullen. Does Meyer get some credit for that? Of course. But “greatest”? Idiotic.

        • Daz said he was the greatest “coach”, which he was. Spurrier was also a player and Heisman winner, so Spurrier means more to the program and it’s legacy. But no question Meyer was the best overall coach and recruiter. If Meyer had gone to South Carolina, they’d have dominated the east. And to all the haters, I see a lot of holier than thou out there, that seem to have no problem throwing those stones. Careful who you judge.

          • Not so sure about that alum84, respectfully. SOS is one of the best coaches EVER. Meyer came to a program that was already built…and by no other than SOS. UF until he arrive won here and there but not consistently. His SEC titles and changing the league with his fun n gun over double the time that Meyer was here, IMO makes his the best coach we ever had and probably top 3 in conference history behind the Bama behemoths.

      • Your win at any cost, the ends justify the means attitude leads me to believe you are a member of the UF version of Alabama’s “Eighty-Five Percent.” This is the name given by Bama alumni to percentage of the fan base that has no formal connection to the school, other than being a fan of the football team. They are the nut jobs, e.g. Harvey Updyke, infamous poisoner of Auburn’s beloved Toomer’s Corner oak trees.

        What year did you graduate Daz?

  8. Three national titles puts him in elite company. i think a lot of the off-field stuff might have been forgotten, but protecting a POS who beat a pregnant woman will always haunt him– and it should. He also has earned the rep as a huge liar, and I don’t think he’ll shake that when he gets back into coaching. Will another else program give him a chance? Yes. Because it is all about winning.

    • Almost all the coaches are liars, just ask the recruits after they have graduated if what they were told in recruiting panned out! Ive noticed on all the stories I read around quoting our present recruits, they all say that the coaches are telling them, they see them, starting as freshmen. we all know thats alot of hogwash. Point being If you are going to hold that against Meyer , you have to hold it against almost all coaches or your a hypocrite. “protecting a POS” Since when is it a coaches job to do what the woman wasnt willing to do herself? These were various unproven whisper allegations stretched over many years yet she never brought charges herself, but somehow its Meyers fault. His job is to coach, not to manage coaches and their spouses personal lives. If she had a problem, she should have gone to the police and she should have brought charges, Meyer is a scapegoat!

  9. I have tried to not be too hard on Urb for leaving UF. Mostly I didn’t want to be like the faithless, whiny, entitled, band-wagon jumping Miami fans who just LOVE them some Jimmy Johnson (1 NC) and bad mouth Dennis Erickson (2 NC). Erickson also coached (1) more year, DIDN’T bail to go to the NFL and the single worst season during Miami’s “golden age” was on Johnson’s watch. He also gets to own “Hail Flutie” for the rest of forever. And he’s got the “Convicts” and “thug” persona “The U” takes so much pride in on his resume too. In spite of that, it’s Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy all the time. Yuck.

    You can’t reasonably compare Urb to Steve Spurrier. SS coach for LOT longer and provided all the meaningful “firsts” (championships). Mostly SS was one of us! Urb never was. But Urb delivered the goods for UF. The part where he got leaving when the going got tough does stain his legacy here. But the good was worth the bad ending IMO. But not Ring of Honor worthy.

    What is happening now at OSU is predictable. Urb doesn’t take the heat well. You could see it on his face all season. It was a remarkably familiar look he wore his last season at UF. I have no doubts he WILL coach again. Not in the SEC (too much competition/pressure). Not in the Big 10-ish. I can see him going to the PAC 12 where the competition isn’t nearly so tough or landing at an ACC school. And if I’m Brian Kelly, I’m hiring a food taster.

  10. I thought Meyer would eventually fold under the pressure when Michigan hired Harbaugh and Penn St. hired Franklin. I thought those two would create recruiting problems for him. That did not happen. I think the domestic violence thing and the extremely poor defense got to him. If he stayed I think he would have fired the DC. TN tried to hire that idiot last year. I wish they would have, the Vols would have been bad another 5 years and the gators would have beaten them every year

  11. Wish him well. while i would not be shocked if he coached again, hopefully he can quit with an incredible record, one of the all time greats, like it or not. with regard to the difficulty a higher percentage of his players had compared to other coaches, the fans don’t tolerate losing, so its not all his fault. Best wishes to him. again i find myself in disagreement with the majority of posters, but no ill will intended if so.

    • mveal, I’m usually not in agreement with you, but I’m about the same here. I think Meyer is one of the greatest football coaches of all time. He actually believes he can protect and change anyone he comes to know, which is part of his downfall. As a father of 2 girls, I absolutely abhor his protection of someone that abused his wife. For that I hope he stays away from football in the future, and should never be put in the ring of honor at UF.

  12. Mixed bag now maybe. But in 10 years after he’s done coaching, Meyer will be remembered as the one of the greatest coaches in College Football history and not much else. The only 2 coaches that have been more successful both coached at BAMA. Meyer is arguably the greatest Head Coach recruiter ever. Only Saban and maybe Bowden at his top are in the same realm. He’s a great game day coach. He’s maybe the best motivating/psychology coach in the last 30-40 years. In the end it will be all about championships. The fact that he has National titles at 2 different schools puts him in a class with few peers. I guess wrong when he agreed to go to OSU. I thought he’d only stay 6 years.

    I predict that he will be coaching again in the next 2 years. Is he a great enthusiast at anything other than football? If not, he has nothing to take up his time. Brian Kelly should be worried. Yes, he’s having a great season but give him 1 or 2 sub 11 win seasons and Meyer’s name will be heavy on ND alumni lips. They can and will pay to get Meyer. Meyer will go. Winning National titles at 3 different schools will put him in one and only category. He wants to be the best and he’s not going to catch Saban or Bryant for number of titles but he can do something that neither will do.

  13. OK, he has a “brain thing”, I hate that for him. He did prove somebody other than the OHBC can win NCs at UF. I’m thankful for that, but he’s conducting business as a quitter, PERIOD. He’s likely to get a future Jimbo type $$$ offer that will make him think twice about returning.

    Pat: You always make the point these coaches/administrators being your friend or buddy, etc. Tim Brando claims the same. You should remember its part of their job to get along with the press, when possible. Below the surface, their relationship with the press is not personal, just part of the job.

  14. My hang up with Meyer is when he left UF, he did it over a two year period and left us “broken”. Now at OSU, he leaves the program in “good hands”. I will always believe, as some rumors state, his leaving UF was over something that happen in his house. His team loses to Bama and BOOM, that night he quits for a day and the return and a bad year.

    • I guess you have been healthy all your life and never have had a serious health scare. Meyer had a serious heart health scare at UF and now has a real brain cyst that is causing him major migraines. Speaking from personal experience over a decade, true migraines make life a living HELL while you are experiencing them. Being in the extremely stressful job of HC is the worse thing for either condition and exacerbates both. I dont doubt over time he will forget the pain if it subsides and the draw of football and to be the greatest at what you do, will bring him back, over common sense.

      • More unfounded handwringing – health scare or not, when you are the CEO of a major organization and resign, you think it through and stick to it, and don’t reverse yourself in 24 hours. That was poor leadership to say the least. And then the Zoloft-coaching the following year just dragged out the pain. And how about running down the Gators to both recruits and the NCAA once he joined OSU? Just “part of the biz”?

        His health troubles – which ever part of them were real – did not excuse his deceits, and poor behavior.

      • Come on Daz you can’t really be that naive. If he were so sick that he couldn’t coach and really wanted to spend more time with family, do you really think he would’ve been able to immediately take a job with ESPN that put him on the road almost as much if not more than coaching, as he was at a different game day location every week? He certainly looked pretty healthy on TV every week. I’m sure he was having chest pains and dealing with stress, but you can bet for damn sure 90% of college coaches deal with the same thing. His brain cyst wasn’t diagnosed till 2014, so that wasn’t an issue at UF. He left for more reasons than just stress induced chest pains. He knew the program was broken and admitted it after he left. He used his “health” as his immediate chance to get out of dodge and run from the broken program as fast as he could. Do you remember in his press conference backing out of retirement in 2009 where he said that this was his dream job and he couldn’t imagine ever having to put another teams colors on? Funny how easy it was for him to do exactly that a year later. Yes coaches lie all the time, hell Saban promised Dolphin fans he wasn’t going anywhere only to take the Bama job a week later, but Meyer takes lying to a different level and that was proven at Big 10 media days. One thing’s for sure, if he takes another job in a year, then OSU fans will feel the same way Gator fans do, especially if Day winds up sucking as bad as Muschamp.

  15. Pat, you have great perspective on Meyer and his time here. If he does come back to coaching, it will be for one last stint with Notre Dame.

    Fans often lose perspective that coaching is a profession. Florida got its money’s worth out of Meyer by any metric. Urban Meyer belongs in the ROH or it loses credibility.

    Now with Mullen back at Florida, there’s a direct connection to the glory days of Meyer. Mullen is different because he will stay at Florida after building a winning organization, to manage it successfully through many seasons.

    That’s one thing that Meyer has never been able to do for one reason or another.

    • I agree that he should be in the ROH. No one has done more for the image of UF as an elite program than Meyer, nor done more for our legacy and is ingrained in our history. For him not to be in, makes the ROH a hollow political tribute. There’s not a coach out there who hasn’t done things fans disagree with. Because no one has your same opinion on everything. The important point is whether what they have done is overall positive or negative. Meyers contribution to UF’s legacy is overall positive. He took us to a height we had never achieved. He took us from a top 25 team to a top 5 team and got us respect from the football world than we still benefit from as evidenced by our quick rankings this year when we started to win again. Other schools that havent won NC’s dont get that consideration. Just look at Notre Dame. they won multiple NC’s in the earlier part of the last century and they STILL get that kind of consideration. This year is a perfect example, look at WHO they played and how they played(point spreads, points allowed). No way they deserve to be in the playoffs, yet there they are just because they are undefeated, yet UCF has done the undefeated for 2 years and cant even smell a playoff position, yet they had a schedule like ND and actually blew out many of their opponents. Urban gave us that and we owe him alot for it!

      • So the 30+ arrests, many for violent crimes under his watch is positive? Covering for an eventual serial killer who failed multiple drug tests and had so many documented issues off the field, yet was allowed to play in 40 of 41 games is positive? The completely tarnished brand and horrible culture he left behind was a positive legacy? It’s amazing what some fans will overlook in the name of championships. It’s understandable when you consider all of that and the fact that he bailed on a broken program, why he’s not in the ROH. There’s a few fans who are willing to overlook all of that, but there’s far too many that can’t and that’s why it’s not happening. Just curious, were you not born till after the Spurrier years, cause he won 6 SEC championships and a national title, so those heights were seen before he got there. If it wasn’t for Spurrier and where he brought the program, then Meyer would’ve never even considered the job and would’ve wound up at ND.

      • “No one has done more for the image of UF as an elite program than Meyer, nor done more for our legacy and is ingrained in our history.”

        Daz….Spurrier did ALL of the firsts…Urban came after a bad hire of Zook. SOS left with a #3 team that was probably the only team that could have competed with the ’01 Canes…oh and 6 SEC titles, Naitional Title…and unofficial one in 1990…and he lost 2 title game. How you can say he did more…are you just talking National titles titles…those were Meyer’s ONLY SEC title year? Don’t forget 2007’s 4 loss season…and the 2010 and 2011 seasons. I think SOS’s worst season was 92 when he still ended up almost kicking Bama’s but because Tennessee imploded down the stretch. That was 3 losses.

    • “Urban Meyer belongs in the ROH or it loses credibility.”

      Using a “broken program” as a negative recruiting tool, when he was responsible for the breaking, is a scumbag move of the highest order. Let T-osu put him in their Rust Belt of Honor; he has absolutely no business in UF’s ring.

  16. I’m not going to spew a lot of venom on Urban Meyer because he reminds me of the visiting relative that finds ways to test your love and loyalty. With Meyer’s penchant for covering up player’s indiscretions a la Saint Bobby or his sudden decision to retire, unretire and take a leave of absence, mail in a year’s worth of recruiting and then retire again it’s really hard to have any lasting fondness for the guy. To quit coaching the Gators because he wants to spend more time with his kids and then almost instantly hire on to ESPN smacked of hypocrisy. Thanks Coach Meyer for many victories and now goodbye and please don’t come back.

  17. Maybe it’s because I’m an alum first and a fan second, but I have little sympathy for him. I had a hard time while he was here, talking like an eagle scout and feeding off of Tebow’s purity, all the while lowering the standards for the humans on his team provided they we’re fast, strong, and mean. My feelings declined when he left, giving mixed messages and leaving the team in the crapper. His miraculous recovery to join OSU were yet another blow to my assessment of him, declining to the bottom with the revelation this year of his covering for an abuser. I appreciate his tenacity and desire to win. That’s as far as my positives go. He’s a defective, immature, and narcissistic blowhole. I hope he has a long, focused moment of self-reflection and gets the medical and psychological help he needs.

  18. I never hated him for leaving and called him Urban Liar only because it was catchy. I was grateful for the two NCs and disappointed the way he left. I never got into the conspiracy theory that he new all along he was going to OSU. Not even Urban could have predicted Tressel would get in trouble then fired. Love him or hate him he did give us Timmy who other than SOS is the greatest Gator ever. I’ve heard interviews where Tebow said if not for Urban he would have gone to Alabama. He said calling Bama’s head coach (can’t remember his name at the moment) and telling him he wasn’t going to be an elephant was one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do. However, after the Zac Smith thing I did lose a lot of respect for him. Definitely not handled well.

    I’m happy he won’t be poaching recruits out of Florida anymore and hope we can nab one or two out of their 2019 class. Jordan Battle would make a nice addition to Mullen’s class.

    He was also one of only two coaches who proved they could beat Sabin. Our only hope now is Dabo. Hopefully Mullen gets there.

  19. Not entering the pro/con debate on Meyer at all. I’m ambivalent on that subject, but do have an opinion on whether or not he’ll ever be back somewhere else. I’d sell that argument. If he were to come back, money will NOT be an incentive AT ALL. The man has made more money than most of us can imagine (and to throw in a favorite quote, I can imagine quite a bit) during his tenure as a head ball coach. For that matter McElwain has made more money than most of us can imagine. The only reason that Meyer (or McElwain would take a job at CM) would come back is if he missed being the HBC. I don’t think that’s something that Meyer wants anymore. The ONLY way he would ever come back is if a particular institution that he couldn’t say no to (Notre Dame) asked him to come back, and that’s not going to happen.

  20. Regardless of how good a coach he is or was, the primary existence of any university is to educate and provide students with the academics to succeed in their professions. Harvard may not have a great football team but the institution is well respected especially for business. Florida is much the same in that the academics outweigh the accomplishments on a sports field. Urban Meyer certainly could have seriously damaged UF’s reputation if Tebow were not in the program as one of the other posters suggests.

    I don’t care that he heft Ohio State except that he isn’t recruiting against us and yes he deserves credit for the championships, but you can’t coddle a coach with the bad side that he has. Look how long Jerry Sandusky did what he did at Penn State. Good coach or not, that is absolutely sinister. Win at all costs will catch up to you and eventually bring a program and maybe even a university down to the bottom.

  21. Well as a born and raised Gainesvillian Reptilian, I am thankful Urban Meyer chose the Univ. of Florida over Notre Dame. Why? Because Notre Dame would have multiple FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS from 2005-2010. Furthermore, the Gator great, Timothy Tebow, would now be a graduate from the Univ. of ALABAMA! Tim Tebow almost ended up at ‘Bama when URBAN was a Gator, he damn sure would’ve gone there if Urban wasn’t the Gator Head Football Coach. And ultimately we’ll all be judged (see: 2 Corinth. 5:10), so I won’t ”judge Urban Meyer.” But I will wish him good health, and hope he finds the peace that has eluded him for so long. GO GATORS! (past and present!)

  22. Have no doubt guys, the first HBC to lead us up from the Doug Dickey bottom was Charlie Pell and then his assistant Galen Hall, PERIOD, who beat Bowden FIVE YEARS IN A ROW. The 84-85 teams could beat anybody! Our best O-Lines ever! They just got caught improving the old fashion way. When OHBC arrived in 1990, he had a full shelf of quality players to start with. Then count them, 5 STRAIGHT SEC Title Games and four crowns in a row, mostly over Bamee, topped by a NC (1990 was a real SEC Title). Don’t forget ole “Pell Power” T-shirts. Meyers record was impressive, but the way he left is not excusable.

  23. Pat, Very fair article. As can be seen in the previous comments, Florida fans have a wide gap in their opinions on Meyer. Many football fanatics would take what Urban brings to their Program for a chance at National Championships. I wouldn’t think it would be fair to say he started out his coaching career with a win at all cost mentality. However, he eventually got there at Florida and OSU. It is hard to believe that he didn’t know what kind of recruits he was bringing into the program at Florida. It is hard to believe he didn’t know about Zach Smith’s behavior continuing at OSU. Nobody can take away his championships. But character probably comes somewhere into the ROH selection criteria. All of the current ROH members have it. For the same reason I don’t see Nortre Dame ever reaching out to him.