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Urban Meyer

Ron Griffitts

7 months 5 days 8 hours ago |589 Views | | | Email | Print

Urban Frank Meyer, III was born in 1964 in Toledo into a devoutly Roman Catholic family but grew up in nearby Ashtabula and attended Ashtabula Saint John High School.


There he excelled in baseball as a shortstop and football as a defensive back. After high school he attended the University of Cincinnati where he played football and at the same time for two summers played minor league baseball for the Atlanta Braves as he had been selected in the 13th round of the 1982 Major League Draft.


While still at Cincinnati, he served as an intern at Cincinnati’s Saint Xavier High School under legendary coach Steve Rasso, and there he met members of Ohio State’s coaching staff, which led to a two-year graduate assistantship at Ohio State under Earle Bruce.


He spent the next 13 years serving as an assistant at Illinois State, Colorado and Notre Dame.


In 2001 he was given his first head coaching job at Bowling Green and turned the program around with an 8-3 record and a season-ending victory over their archrivals, the Toledo Rockets, 56-21. After a second season in which the Falcons went 9-3, he moved on to Utah as head coach.


He directed the Utes to a 10-2 record and earned The Sporting News Coach of the Year award for his effort. It was during this time that he developed what would be called “the spread offense.”


This was based on Bill Walsh’s West Coast Offense, which uses three receivers as well as one or more running backs coming out of the backfield, giving the quarterback as many options as possible.


In 2004 the Utes went 12-0 and played in their first ever Bowl Championship Series game in which they defeated Pittsburgh.


In 2005 both the University of Florida and Notre Dame wanted Meyer as their head coach. Although he had long eyed the Notre Dame position, he instead chose Florida.


In 2005 he signed a seven-year, $14 million contract with Florida and led the Gators to a 9-3 record and a victory over Iowa in the Outback Bowl. And in 2006 the Gators went 13-1 with a lone defeat coming at the hands of Auburn and a victory over Ohio State in the 2007 BCS National Championship game.


In 2008 the Gators were again national champions as they went 13-1 and defeated Oklahoma 24-14 in the BCS Championship game for their second national title.


In 2009 they went 12-0 in the regular season but lost in the Southeastern Conference Championship game to Alabama 32-13 and defeated undefeated Cincinnati 51-24 in the 2010 Sugar Bowl.


But Meyer’s intense style caught up with him, and he was admitted to a hospital after the SEC championship game, complaining of chest pains which proved to be gastroesophageal reflux disease.


He seemed, however, to have lost concentration in coaching as his team went only 7-5 in 2010 and later that season resigned for health reasons and took a job as an analyst on ESPN for 2011.


During that year Jim Tressel resigned as the head coach at Ohio State, and the team suffered through a lackluster season under interim coach Luke Fickel.


Then on Nov. 17, 2011, a rumor surfaced on the Internet that the next day Urban Meyer would be announced as the next coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. And even though Meyer publicly denied the rumor, he asked to be taken off that weekend’s Ohio State-Michigan game.


The next day he was announced as Ohio State’s new coach and as they say the rest is history and at the time of this article is written has won a school record 24 consecutive games and is in the process of his second straight undefeated season in Columbus.

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