Meyer denies reports of Ohio State job
Published: Monday, November 21, 2011 at 12:44 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 21, 2011 at 12:44 p.m.
After a weekend where his name was bounced around like a lotto ball, Urban Meyer set the record straight Monday.
The former Florida head football coach told The Sun he never interviewed for the Arizona job and has not interviewed for the Ohio State job. And if the Ohio State job is offered, the same issues that caused him to step away from coaching this past year are still in play.
“The concerns are still there,” Meyer told The Sun. “No. 1 — my health. No. 2 — my family. No. 3 — the state of college football. I've done some research into the second one. I've found that it is possible to have balance between your job and your family, that there are coaches out there who are doing it.
“I'm in a good place right now mentally and physically. So if something happens with Ohio State, I'll have a decision to make. But there has been no interview. There has been no offer to make a decision about.”
Meyer has been connected to Ohio State, where Luke Fickell has been serving as the interim head coach in the wake of the scandal that cost Jim Tressel his job. One reason there has been so much speculation is that Meyer is from Ashtabula, Ohio, has a photo of former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes in his home and grew up a big fan of the Buckeyes.
Meyer resigned as Florida's coach in 2009 only to return 24 hours later. He coached the Gators in 2010, but called it quits in December because of recurring health issues and a desire to spend more time with his family.
Meyer has spent Saturdays broadcasting games for ESPN, but has seen dozens of volleyball games his daughters Nicki (Georgia Tech) and Gigi (Florida Gulf Coast) have played and has served as an assistant coach for son Nate's baseball team in Gainesville.
“I love football,” he said. “It's what I am. I miss it.”
Reports surfaced last week that Meyer had interviewed for the vacant Arizona job. Meyer was in Miami speaking at an Orange Bowl function and talked to Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne about potential candidates.
“It wasn't an interview,” Meyer said. “He wanted to talk and he's a good friend. We talked about other coaches who might be good fits for the job. He asked me if I had any interest and I told him I did not.”
Meyer won two national championships at Florida in six years and it would be a coup for any program to land a coach with such a successful resume.
“I love Florida and I always will,” Meyer said. “I've helped Will Muschamp out as much as I can. I hope they win out and have a great recruiting year. I want that for the kids and for Will and the coaches and (football secretary) Nancy Scarborough and Jeremy Foley.
“If there is a decision to be made concerning Ohio State, there will be a lot that will go into it. But right now, there is no decision to be made.”