Meyer could stay at UF in some capacity

Published: Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 10, 2010 at 12:11 a.m.

TAMPA — This time around, Urban Meyer’s morning after didn’t feel the same.

Hours after officially stepping down as Florida’s football coach, there was no desire or urge to change his mind. There was no repeat of his 180-degree flip from almost a year ago.

A much more relaxed Meyer rolled out of bed and onto the Gators practice field Thursday morning. He watched his players as a man eager to begin his new life away from coaching.

While Meyer said there is no chance of him changing his mind again, he will remain a part of Florida’s program in some capacity in order to help in the program’s rejuvenation.

“I’ve been asked and requested to remain at Florida for as long as they’ll have me,” Meyer said at the Outback Bowl’s contract signing party Thursday. “They’ve been very gracious, and I’m here to help in any way. I have an idea (what he’ll be doing within the program), but we’ll have to wait until the new coach gets here.”

Meyer, who will coach through the Outback Bowl against Penn State (7-5) on Jan. 1, said he is still recruiting for Florida and has been in touch with numerous recruits since his resignation.

Meyer also plans to live in Gainesville for “a long time,” but is unsure if he will assist Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley in the coaching search.

“That’s up to my boss,” he said.

For Foley, there was no last-ditch effort to sway Meyer’s decision. He respects Meyer’s choice and said he’s happy to see his friend at ease and happy.

“Obviously, his decision has been made,” Foley said. “He’s committed to it, he’s at peace with it.”

Foley added that he wouldn’t be surprised to see Meyer appear on television as a college football analyst or emerge as a motivational speaker next year.

Whatever the plan is for Meyer, he’s not letting it be known to the public. What he will say is that he won’t be coaching anywhere next year and said if he does return to the coaching ranks, he will do so after his son, Nate, 12, graduates from high school.

“There’s a plan,” he said. “God knows the plan and that’s a part of the plan, absolutely.”

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