Trip to hospital left Meyer scared

Published: Saturday, December 26, 2009 at 8:23 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, December 26, 2009 at 8:23 p.m.

The trip to the hospital the night after Florida's loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game "scared" Urban Meyer to the point where he spent much of the last two weeks soul-searching and led to his decision to step down after the Sugar Bowl, according to a source.

Florida could hire a replacement for Meyer, who won 56 games in five seasons, very soon after the game against Cincinnati or even before, according to another source.

Meyer told The Sun on Dec. 7 that his trip to the hospital was because of "major chest pains" and that he needed "to take better care of myself."

According to a source close to the situation, Meyer had been considering leaving coaching for more than a week, going back and forth on the decision.

"He just doesn't have anything left in the tank," the source said.

Meyer is also suffering from an arachnoid cyst in his brain, which was diagnosed years ago and gets inflamed by stress, rage, excitement, resulting in intense headaches. Doctors then told Meyer he had to ease up.

"Ever since that day, on the sideline you'll see me—I'm trying to stay very composed," Meyer told Sports Illustrated for a story earlier this month. "I have headaches, but not like that. I've changed."

It may be the severity of those headaches more so than any heart concerns for Meyer's decision to step down, a source said.

Meyer said he will remain in Gainesville and will be part of the search for his replacement as head coach, Florida spokesman Steve McClain said.

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