Urban Meyer: “I Miss Football”
By Brandon Castel
If the rumors about Urban Meyer taking the Ohio State job weren’t enough, now Meyer himself is openly talking about the position for which he has not been interviewed.
“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,” Meyer told Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun on Monday.
“But there has been no interview. There has been no offer to make a decision about.”
Technically, the job is not even open, but it certainly raises eyebrows that Meyer would comment directly about Ohio State, especially considering interim Head Coach Luke Fickell is in the midst of preparing the Buckeyes to play their archrivals.
Meyer has been working as an analyst and color commentator for ESPN since he stepped away from his job as the head coach at Florida—for the second time—after last season. There were major concerns that he might not be ready to return to coaching after just one season away from the game, but Meyer made it clear Monday that he misses being on the sideline.
“I love football,” he told The Sun.
“It's what I am. I miss it.”
The 47-year old has been one of the most successful coaches in college football over the last decade. During his nine-year tenure at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida, Meyer was a combined 104-23 with two BCS National Championships and a 7-1 bowl record.
Meyer’s only bowl loss came against Michigan in the 2008 Capitol One Bowl, which was also Lloyd Carr’s last game with the Wolverines. After going 22-2 in two seasons at Utah, Meyer was 9-3 in his first year in Gainesville after taking over for Ron Zook.
He led the Gators to three one-loss seasons, and won the national title twice despite never finishing undefeated. Though Florida was only 8-5 in his final season, Meyer walked away at the top of his game because of health issues, along with concern about the balance between work and family.
“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.”
Just the fact Meyer is willing to talk so openly about the possibility of him returning to the sidelines is a serious indicator that he is at least interested in hearing about the Ohio State job.
Meyer also met with University of Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne, but only to talk about potential candidates for their vacant head coaching position.
“It wasn't an interview,” Meyer told The Sun.
“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.”
Along with his health problems, Meyer recently experienced the death of his father, who passed away last week. He was concerned about being able to watch his daughters play volleyball—Nicki is at Georgia Tech and Gigi is at Florida Gulf Coast—but it appears as though the Ashtabula native has found a way to create balance for himself even after he returns to coaching.
That alone makes the possibility Meyer will become Ohio State’s 25th head coach all the more plausible.
“If there is a decision to be made concerning Ohio State, there will be a lot that will go into it,” he told The Sun.
“But right now, there is no decision to be made.”
The key phrase being right now.
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