Even though Urban Meyer is still hard at work trying to close out what looks like a special recruiting class, the head ball coach, by all accounts, is already finding ways to relieve some of the stress that has been building around him for years. He’s sleeping in some mornings, working out, eating right, and generally feeling better.
After signing day, Meyer will begin his indefinite leave of absence. The prediction here is he could be back as soon as the start of spring practice, rejuvenated and ready to coach again.
Whenever he does come back, Meyer will probably have to take a slightly different approach to certain things. As UF athletic director Jeremy Foley has said, those at UF (and others) need to help Meyer any way they can.
I’m not an expert on these sort of things, but I’m offering some ways to make Meyer’s job easier (and less stressful) when he gets back:
- No more special teams. Meyer has a passion for coaching the special teams, but it’s an exhausting job, especially when you consider how hands-on he is in all aspects of his team. Meyer needs to delegate here, hand the special teams coordinator duties over to new assistant coach D.J. Durkin, who coached the special teams at Stanford. Less responsibility will mean less stress.
- Drop the booster tour. UF wore out Meyer with all the Gator Gatherings he had to attend around the state (and other parts of the nation) when he first got here. Meyer’s schedule has since been curtailed. Now, it’s time to send the assistants to all these events and let Meyer get away and enjoy his late spring and early summer. Boosters may not like it, but hey, they see Meyer enough as it is, and hopefully they appreciate him (and what he does) more than ever now.
- Get a regular golf schedule going. This is what has kept Steve Spurrier fresh over the years. Meyer played some in the past but hasn’t had much time for it since he’s been here. Golf is the great escape from job stress, and it’s time for Meyer to make the game part of his new wellness plan.
- Take at least month off every year. Other coaches do it, why can’t Meyer? Real vacations with the family are always a good thing. If Steve Addazio can vacation in Italy (which he did last summer), then the Meyers can do something similar to really get away for a while.
- Cut out those long nights at the office during the season. Coaches (including Meyer) tend to look at tape over and over until they’re bleary eyed, searching for an edge. Usually, if you don’t find an edge after the first few viewings, it’s not there, so go home. Many coaches have found this out the hard way over the years.
- Advice for the fans on this: Leave the man alone. Let him go to a restaurant and eat in peace. And stop hounding him for autographs wherever he goes (this really goes for those who hang out outside the practice field waiting for Meyer to exit). Like Spurrier used to tell the fans, you can get autographs on fan day (a few weeks before the start of the season). So, for the fans: stop asking. For Meyer: stop signing.
I agree with you robbie, golf is an escape from job stress…I have been playing now for 2 years and love it. Coach Meyer will find a way to deal with his stress, because he knows how important it is to live in the present, and right now, the present is good at florida
I also wanted to say that mickey marotti really is an unsung hero for this florida football program. He means more to this school than most people know.
I agree 100%. Leave the man alone in public and let him enjoy a dinner.
Good advise. Along with the idea of sending the assistants to do the booster tours, send a video of the coach answering questions possibly submitted by fans on the internet about the the 2010 season. Also delegating and trusting the assistant coaches with direction from the head coach.
Here is my top 3 suggestions: 1)Get away from the media and guys like Robbie Andreau during the off season any way you can. Grow a beard, wear a Fedora, dark glasses, whatever. 2) Take a week all to yourself right after signing day and go down to the Virgin Islands. Have Mrs Meyer join you for the second week (make sure you have a romantic Valentines Day dinner overlooking Charlotte Amalie harbour). No kids. No relatives. Hopefully no fans. Come back for spring ball. 3) Right after the kids get out of school, take three weeks with the family and go to Europe or the Greek Isles or Australia, anyplace far far away from football. A lifetime of memories. See you in the fall.
Coach Meyer has built the systems and structure necessary for a successful college football program. Now he needs to hire the right assistant coaches and coordinators who can execute his system. Coach Meyer needs to stay in touch with the players and insure the the system is operating to his expectations and delegate authority to the coordinators to run the system. Hire and extra coordinator if needed. Don’t let the fans and boosters with unrealistic expectations get you down.
I agree with the top 5. I can see your point about hounding UM in public because he is off work and on his own personal time. Sounds to me like Mr Dooley seems to be the one always “bumping” into him in public. But at practice he is at work and signing a few autographs for a few kids after practice I’m sure doesn’t stress him out. Maybe a better suggestion for UM would be to stop granting post practice interviews to the annoying media hounds. No immediate post game interviews either. I can guarantee you that if you asked UM he’d much rather avoid the media and the undue stress that you guys relentlessly put on him than a few fans after practice.
Don’t want to leave out the fact that it was your good buddy pat that cost UM $30,000 this year. How much undue stress do you think that caused?
dan ur a whimp media guys are causein urban stress that’s just a VERY VERY SILLY STATEMENT!!!!!
Tampa Dave and Dan Avanacio, I agree with both of you 100%.
Robbie, you forgot the main cause of stress for Urban Meyer: THE MEDIA. If I was Coach Meyer, I will stop granting interviews to the media after practices and just give a brief “I am proud how my team performed in the game” short talk after each game. Common, Pat follows Urban to every local restaurant and pretends he found Urban by chance. He even caused Coach Meyer a $30K and was cruel enough to write before and after (a Breaking News report) when the fine was given. Then, the Finebaum fiasco. Even Coach Meyer admitted that he stopped looking up the internet after the UT game when Lame Kitten was acussing Meyer and picking on him. I think that Meyer’s worst enemy after himself is the media and that is what is deteriorating his health. So Robbie, please have the guts to include yourself and Pat into the equation to relieve Meyer’s stress if you think we the fans are also creating stress in our beloved Coach. Have a nice Day!
Funny thing is, Meyer lives on one of the nicest golf courses in Gainesville, right down the road from Billy D and Jeremy Foley!!! Seems like he could arrange a regular game very easily.
To everyone blaming the media – stop reading the Urban articles and they’ll stop asking him. Just like every other industry, it’s a supply/demand thing. If we read it, someone will always ask it, no matter what “it” is, or who is involved. I wouldn’t be upset if Finebaum went away though…
On the other hand, don’t take/give away the things he loves (e.g. Special teams) if he likes doing it!!!!
We need to let it be a special privilege and at special times to
be around out great coach ; not a habit
Nice Blog, now if we can get everyone to go along with it.
I agree with a lot of what you are saying except for dropping the Booster tour. They have already cut it down quite a bit by doing it by region instead of counties. Unless you are Ben Hill Griffin or a member of the press, boosters really don’t see him that much. You already have the season ticket holders who are not in the upper echelon not having access to bowl games or championship game tickets. Look what happened at the Sugar Bowl.Do you really think that 300 people will come hear Addagio or the other assistants. I have been to Gator meetings where somebody other than Meyer spoke. Instead of 300, you have 30. Besides, I think that a lot of his salary comes from speaking engagements i.e. gator clubs.I do feel that he should take a vacation between recruiting NSD and spring practice. Ne also should take one during the summer. When he goes to his son’s or daughter’s soccer or valleyball games, leave the cell phone at home. Shelley, hide it if necessary. Golf or bowling during the offseason will do wonders. During the season, take a walk when you get home. If you can’t walk around the block, like a cul de sac, use a treadmill. Robbie and Pat, I do not need to know how every day at practice went.Let the coaches and athletes cool it after practice. The athletes have studying to do and the coaches need to unwind. If you see him in a restaurant or at a ball game, leave him alone. I met a famous football player once at Universal Studios. Eventhough I had my camera, because he had his family with him I did not bother him for a picture or an autograph. I just shook his hand and said, “nice to meet you.” I wish coach Meyer the best and ill pray that his health returns. It sounds like he has already made a few positive changes. Mainly he needs to do what his doctors, wife, and bosses tell him to do.
Arcadia is the home of former Gators Jimmy Yarbrough and Jerome Evans. The Tri-County gator club, DeSoto, Hardee, and Highlands Counties, met in Arcadia in 1990. We were the first or close to the first Gator Club that Spurrer spoke to after being hired.
Fishing is also a great way to relax and Florida offers many opportunities.