Urban Meyer has been widely rumored to be a potential replacement for Clay Helton as USC’s next head football coach. Apparently the rumors haven’t frayed any relationship between the men.
Meyer was present at the LA Memorial Coliseum on Friday night working in his capacity as an analyst for FS1, which televised the game. The Trojans beat Utah 30-23 despite quarterback Kedon Slovis getting hurt on USC’s second play of the game. Matt Fink, originally the third-string QB, stepped in and threw three touchdown passes to lead the team to victory.
After the game, a few reporters mentioned that Meyer gave love to Helton. One photo even showed Meyer appearing to give Helton the “Fight On” symbol.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) September 21, 2019
As Clay Helton was walking off the field, he pointed to Urban Meyer, who pointed back and appeared to say “good job”
— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) September 21, 2019
This just seems surprising. How can Helton be comfortable with a guy so many are talking about taking his job? Maybe he’ll take the credit wherever he can.
Helton has USC 3-1 so far this season.
Very few people believe we have seen the last of Urban Meyer coaching college football, and the one school the three-time national champion has been consistently linked to is USC. But even if Meyer is interested in that job, the feeling may not be mutual.
According to a report from Sports by Brooks, USC President Carol Folt is not in favor of hiring Meyer to replace Clay Helton. As a result, the school’s trustees are facing pressure to look elsewhere for a head football coach.
Sources: SportsbyBrooks has learned USC President Carol Folt does not want to hire Urban Meyer and pressure is mounting on old guard USC Trustees to stand down on pushing Meyer. New info on my @Fancred show at noon ET. From your phone/tablet, DL app here: https://t.co/5XZwt85xyc.
— Sports by Brooks (@SportsbyBrooks) September 18, 2019
Folt just became president at USC back in March, and she is probably concerned about all of the past scandals Meyer has been involved in. USC has enough problems to deal with, as the admissions scandal that rocked the school is still playing out. The Trojans were also one of the teams involved in the FBI’s investigation into corruption within college basketball. Folt likely played a role in former athletic director Lynn Swann recently stepping down, as Swann was heavily criticized for the way he handled a lot of the issues at USC during his three-plus years there.
As Jim Harbaugh recently said, controversy seems to follow Meyer everywhere he goes. More than two dozen players were arrested during his six seasons as the head coach at Florida, and he left Ohio State in the wake of allegations that he ignored domestic violence allegations against a member of his coaching staff.
If USC’s priority is getting its football team back to national prominence, there are few arguments to be made against bringing Meyer in. But if hiring a guy with a clean reputation who won’t bring more scandal to the university is the main goal, looking elsewhere makes sense.
Urban Meyer stepped away from coaching at Ohio State and has gone into the TV business, but questions persist about how long that will last. Meyer is one of the best college football coaches in history. He has a competitive drive matched by few others. Can he be fulfilled doing TV and teaching a class at Ohio State in the same way that he was leading a team to victory each weekend during the fall? Probably not.
During a lengthy interview with Cleveland.com’s Doug Lesmerises that was published on Thursday, Meyer expressed how difficult it is to live each day without coaching to drive him.
“I’ve been in a fight for 33 years, and now you’re not in that fight,” Meyer told Lesmerises. “So how do you fulfill that fight? And I feel that every morning. Every morning.
“It’s all about a win and a loss for 33 years. I mean every day was. Not just you’re getting ready for a game. No, no, no, no. You’re recruiting every day. You’re going against Alabama and Clemson every day, The Team Up North every day. Now you’re not. That’s the number one void, is you’re not in a fight.”
Meyer sounds like a guy who’s hungry to jump back into coaching. But he says getting into the coaching mix later this year might be too early and that 2020 could be more the timing he’s aiming for.
“I’m not there at the moment,” Meyer said of a possible return to Lesmerises. “Like you said, next year can I say that? We’ll talk again next year and we’ll see.”
There has been plenty of speculation that Meyer will end up at USC. A 2020 timeline might not fit with the Trojans if they wish to fire Clay Helton after this season and hire a new coach later this year.
Whatever the case, it seems like we can expect Meyer taking over a program late next year.
H/T Sports By Brooks
Urban Meyer seems to be enjoying his first season as a college football analyst for FOX, but speculation about his return to coaching is not going to stop at any point in the near future. The three-time national champion knows that, but he insists he has not given it any thought.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post asked Meyer this week what the circumstances would have to be for him to consider a return to coaching, and Meyer said his focus is solely on fulfilling his duties with FOX.
“I’m not even there. I’m not even in that space. My focus is being the best for my employer at FOX,” Meyer said. “I’m on the phone every day with them. Not so much what we did well, but what we can do better. That’s how I’ve always have been trained. That is my focus.”
While he is obviously one of the best of all time at coaching players, Meyer said he loves working as an analyst and providing insight for fans.
“I think there are so many people out there talking about this game and it is complete theory. They think this is what is going on instead of the testimony of a mindset of a coach or an athlete,” he said. “That is why I think our show is so good.”
Meyer is only 55, and one of his former colleagues recently said he cannot see the former Ohio State and Florida leader staying away from coaching. That same colleague speculated that Meyer would only return to a program he believes has a shot at winning a national championship, and one job on the West Coast would seem to make a lot of sense if he does get the itch again.
Urban Meyer and wife Shelley still have positive feelings towards the Florida Gators several years later.
Meyer, who coached Florida from 2005-2010, and his wife attended Saturday’s season-opening game between the Gators and Miami Hurricanes in Orlando. Both were wearing Florida gear, according to reporters. Meyer was later shown by ESPN on TV in his Florida gear.
SEC commish Greg Sankey and Urban Meyer in Florida-clad gear… pic.twitter.com/FYUBR6eecq
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 24, 2019
Meyer led the Gators to two national championships. He stepped down after the 2010 season, citing his health and a desire to spend time with his family.
Meyer returned to coaching after a year off and led Ohio State for seven seasons before stepping down after last season. Now that he has time on Saturdays and is not coaching a team, he and his wife are able to take in games and made Orlando their first stop of the season.
Urban Meyer took a funny jab at Michigan during FOX’s college football show on Saturday.
Meyer, who stepped down as Ohio State’s head coach after the season and made way for new head coach Ryan Day, is now a part of the show. One of the topics that came up was the Michigan Wolverines.
Meyer was asked: “Is this finally Michigan’s year?” The former Buckeyes coach answered bluntly, “year for what?”
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) August 24, 2019
The question was likely asking whether this was Michigan’s year to win the Big Ten, reach for the College Football Playoff for the first time under Jim Harbaugh, and compete for a national championship. Meyer asking for a clarification wasn’t so much about specificity so much as it was about minimizing the Wolverines’ chances of winning a championship. Urb was obviously downplaying his former rival team.
Though his response was humorous, now that Meyer is not at Ohio State, Michigan has its best chance of winning the rivalry game since Harbaugh’s been the head coach. Harbaugh has gone 0-4 against Ohio State and is 1-3 in bowl games.
Maybe Meyer gave his zinger as revenge for what Harbaugh said in July.
The start of the upcoming college football season will mark the first time since 2011 that Urban Meyer is not leading a program.
Meyer retired from his job at Ohio State and has been replaced by Ryan Day, who served as an interim head coach last year while Meyer was on leave over the Zach Smith matter.
Meyer won national championships at Florida and Ohio State, and also had an undefeated season at Utah. He is among the greatest college football coaches ever, though as Jim Harbaugh noted, Meyer is involved in controversies wherever he goes.
Meyer has made the move to TV and is now an analyst for FOX’s college football programming. Will that be enough to satisfy the 55-year-old? One of his former colleagues does not think so.
“I just don’t see how he sits out the rest of his life,” a former Meyer colleague told Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde. “That’s who he is, that’s what he does.”
That same colleague also said he believes Meyer would only return to college football at a program where he believes he could win a national championship. One specific job on the West Coast would seem to make a lot of sense if Meyer ever returns to coaching.
H/T The Spun