Meyer accepts Florida's offer

Utah head coach Urban Meyer is raised atop by fans after defeating BYU Saturday, Nov. 20, 2004, in Salt Lake City. Utah beat BYU, 52-21. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

Published: Friday, December 3, 2004 at 3:44 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 3, 2004 at 3:44 p.m.

Utah's Urban Meyer agreed Friday afternoon to become Florida's 21st head football coach, sources told The Sun.

Meyer, 40, agreed to a seven-year, $14 million contract, which was finalized Friday.

UF athletic director Jeremy Foley has been in Salt Lake City meeting with Meyer since Wednesday. Meyer also met with Notre Dame officials on Thursday.

Meyer turned down his "dream job," a chance to coach at Notre Dame. Meyer was the wide receivers coach for the Irish for five years (1996-2000) and many thought he would accept Notre Dame's offer, which was made Thursday.

As of late Friday, UF still had not scheduled a press conference to introduce Meyer. Foley is returning to Gainesville on Friday.

Meyer has a strong connection to Florida - new school president Bernie Machen, who hired Meyer when Machen was the president at Utah. The two have stayed in contact since Machen left Salt Lake City for Gainesville last January.

Meyer is widely considered the hottest young coaching prospect in college football. In his two years at Utah, he's taken a downtrodden program and taken it to heights the school had never achieved before. The No. 5 Utes are 11-0 this season and will be playing in a BCS Bowl. His overall record at Utah is 21-2.

Before taking the Utah job, Meyer was 17-6 in two seasons at Bowling Green, where his spread offense was one of the most productive in the nation.

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