Marotti Joins Meyer in Columbus
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — When Urban Meyer announced his first retirement from the University of Florida after the 2009 season, it was Mickey Marotti who helped him reconsider.
Meyer’s trusted Director of Strength and Conditioning is used to pumping up football players, but he had some fiery words for his head football coach the next morning at practice.
“It’s different here,” Marotti told The New York Times last year.
“We do things different here. We train them different, practice different, talk to them different and motivate them different. Look what you’ve done. That’s what you want to be a part of.”
Now it was Meyer’s turn to do some motivating.
A year after his official resignation in Gainesville, Meyer has taken over as the head football coach at the Ohio State University. One of his first calls was to Marotti, who he lured away from Notre Dame back in 2005.
Once again, Meyer got his man.
Appearing on the Gator Bowl teleconference Sunday evening, current Florida coach Will Muschamp confirmed that Marotti has already left the Gators to join forces with Meyer in Columbus.
A native of Ambridge, Pa., the 46-year old Marotti played fullback at West Liberty State, where he graduated in 1987. He became a graduate assistant in the strength and conditioning program at Ohio State under former head coach Earle Bruce. That is when he first met Meyer, who was also a graduate assistant at OSU in 1987.
Marotti would graduate from Ohio State in 1988 with a rare Master of Arts in Strength and Conditioning, and he was immediately hired as an assistant strength coach at West Virginia University.
He would get another Master’s degree in Sports Medicine at WVU before taking over as the head strength and conditioning coach at the University of Cincinnati in 1990. He would stay with the Bearcats for eight years, coordinating the strength program for 20 different sports, including football and men’s basketball.
In 1998, he was hired to join Bob Davie’s staff at Notre Dame as the Director of Strength and Conditioning. Meyer was already working in South Bend as the receivers coach, and when he left to become the head coach at Bowling Green in 2001, Marotti was one of the first staff members he tried to hire.
Meyer called Marotti relentlessly for three months trying to get him to leave his gig at Notre Dame, but the situation at Bowling Green was far too unsettled for him to pick up his family.
This time around, there is a lot more stability as Marotti joins what could be an all-star cast in Columbus. He will replace Ohio State's director of football performance, Eric Lichter after the bowl game.
Lichter has been with the Buckeyes since he was hired by former head coach Jim Tressel in June, 2006. Eric's mother, Linda Lichter-Witter, is Ohio State's synchronized swimming coach.
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