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College football: Is Urban Meyer Planning on Coaching Again?

Urban Meyer is one of the greatest college football coaches the game has ever seen. There’s no denying that he has always been one of the most tenacious leaders of a sideline over the last 30 years. During his career, he sent several players to the NFL and built two programs into perennial championship contenders. Meyer retired from Ohio State at the end of last season, but there will always be speculation about whether he will coach again. Let’s look at his career and give a firm answer to that question.

Urban Meyer’s early career

Urban Meyer retired once from Florida and came back; will he do it again after leaving Ohio State?
Urban Meyer retired once from Florida and came back; will he do it again after leaving Ohio State? | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Meyer started his head coaching career at Bowling Green, going 8-3 and 9-3 in his two seasons there. He then went to the University of Utah, turning them into one of the most underrated programs in the country. The team went 10-2 in his first season and 12-0 in his second, securing a Fiesta Bowl victory in the process. 

The quarterback of the undefeated Utah team, Alex Smith, also went No. 1 in the 2004 NFL draft. After leading the Utes to the bowl win, Meyer took the job at the University of Florida. 

Turning Florida into a dynasty

When Urban Meyer landed in Gainesville, he made it a focal point to recruit inside the state. Florida landed one of the top quarterback prospects in the country in Tim Tebow in 2006 after a 9-3 season, but he was only a backup to senior Chris Leak heading into 2007. Tebow became a key part of the Gators offense, and the defense helped the team finish 13-1, with an easy victory over Ohio State in the BCS championship.

The Gators won another title two seasons later, and Meyer cemented himself as one of the best coaches in college football. By the end of the 2010 season, all the pressures of the job had taken its toll on Meyer, and he abruptly retired after leading Florida to an 8-5 record.

The first retirement doesn’t keep

While announcing his first retirement, Meyer cited his health and being closer to his family as the reason for leaving the Gators program. He worked as a studio analyst at ESPN, but being that close to the game without being on the sidelines didn’t suit him. He left ESPN and took over Ohio State in 2012.

Winning a third national championship 

The Ohio State cupboard wasn’t bare when Meyer got to the school, even after finishing 6-7 under interim coach Luke Fickell. Although Meyer led the team to a 12-0 record in his first season, the Buckeyes weren’t eligible for the postseason or the Big Ten championship game.

Two seasons later, JT Barrett dominated Big Ten defenses. He got injured before the start of the College Football Playoff, which led to Cardale Jones taking over the team. Jones helped Ohio State gets past Alabama in the Sugar Bowl before Jones and Ezekiel Elliott helped secure a lopsided win against Oregon the first College Football Playoff national championship game.

Will the second retirement stick?

While Ohio State saw success after winning the national championship, there was always one or two losses that left a sour taste in his mouth. The 2018 season was one of the most up and down seasons for the school, as the offense put up points behind Dwayne Haskins, but the defense was historically bad.

After finishing the year with a 10-1 record, including a Rose Bowl victory, Meyer announced his second retirement, giving the keys to the team to Ryan Day.

We think the second retirement is the end of Urban Meyer’s coaching career. He is already becoming must-see TV on Fox’s college football pre-game show, and we don’t expect him to hump back into the coaching ranks any time soon. He already has three national titles and an .854 career winning percentage to his name. Plus, he prevously cited health concerns as a reason for retiring before, and we don’t see those going away as he gets older.

Do you think Meyer will coach again?

Are you expecting Urban Meyer to end his retirement in a couple of seasons? There are speculations that USC and Notre Dame could pursue Meyer if their head coaching positions become available, but we think Meyer will turn down those offers if they come.