Urban Meyer said he believes he is done with coaching for good after he stepped down at Ohio State, but that does not mean he will be disappearing from the college football landscape going forward.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that Meyer has been hired by FOX to serve as an analyst for its new college football pregame show, which does not yet have a name but will air on network TV next season. FOX has also hired former NFL and USC running back Reggie Bush, and he and Meyer will join Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn for the new production.
According to Marchand, FOX is hoping to create serious competition for ESPN’s popular “College GameDay” program by creating the same type of star-studded panel it has with its NFL and MLB pregame shows.
Meyer was part of a major scandal in his last season at Ohio State, but FOX executives apparently do not feel that has negatively impacted his popularity.
Urban Meyer responded on Twitter Thursday to an adorable letter from a 7-year-old fan.
Jack Lucas, a professor in Calgary, tweeted a photo of a letter written by his daughter to Ohio State football. The letter asked what the stickers on the players’ helmets were for and offered congratulations on winning the Rose Bowl. Lucas tagged Ohio State on Twitter and received a response from Urban Meyer. The person running Meyer’s account offered a cute response: “They are stickers and each one means the player did something really good to help the Buckeyes win! Thanks for being a fan, Hannah!! Go Bucks!”
They are stickers and each one means the player did something really good to help the Buckeyes win! Thanks for being a fan, Hannah!! Go Bucks! https://t.co/m9k853afqU
— Urban Meyer (@OSUCoachMeyer) January 3, 2019
Helmet stickers are one of the cool traditions in college football. The real fun part is seeing awesome players whose helmets are nearly covered by the end of the season due to all their great plays.
Urban Meyer coached his final game at Ohio State in Tuesday’s 28-23 win over Washington in the Rose Bowl, though he stopped short of guaranteeing he is retiring for good.
Meyer’s Buckeyes beat the Huskies to close out a 13-1 season. After the game, Meyer was interviewed by ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi and was asked whether he would coach anywhere else in the future.
“I don’t believe that’s going to happen. I’m going to enjoy tonight. I don’t believe I’m going to coach again,” Meyer said.
Meyer seems to have been pushed out by Ohio State due to his handling of former assistant Zach Smith. He will be giving way to Ryan Day, who coached Ohio State to a 3-0 record during Meyer’s suspension.
When asked last month if he was sure he would retire, he said he was “fairly certain” he would not coach again. Meyer is still only 54 years old, so he easily should have at least 10 years left as a coach if he still wants to do it. He’s also leaving the door open for a potential return.
For now, Meyer is expected to serve as an assistant AD at Ohio State.
Urban Meyer may be ending his tenure as Ohio State’s football coach, but his time with Buckeyes athletics will continue.
Cleveland.com’s Doug Lesmerises reported on Saturday that Meyer will become Ohio State’s assistant athletic director after the Rose Bowl.
Meyer will have an office in the school’s administration building rather than the football building, which is expected to allow Ryan Day to have his space as the program’s new head coach. Athletic director Gene Smith says he will reach out to Meyer if he feels the coach is interfering with Day’s ability to grow into the role.
According to the report, Meyer will help work with Ohio State’s coaches across all sports. He will also do speaking engagements and fundraising for the school.
Meyer announced earlier this month that the Rose Bowl would be his last game as Ohio State’s coach and that Ryan Day would take over thereafter. Despite the announcement, Meyer has not definitively said he is done coaching.
The annual Ohio State-Michigan football game is one of the biggest rivalries in sports, and Urban Meyer this week tried to put into perspective exactly what it has meant to him during his tenure in Columbus.
While discussing his impending retirement in an interview with 10TV, Meyer spoke about the importance of facing the Wolverines, whom he went 7-0 against during his career at Ohio State. Had the Buckeyes not emerged victorious this year, Meyer says he may have stuck around for another season.
“Well, I looked up at the scoreboard when we beat the team up north, and the way we beat them…” Meyer said, as transcribed by Kevin Harrish of Eleven Warriors. “To be honest with you, if we didn’t win that game, I’m not sure I could leave losing that game.”
This looked like the year Jim Harbaugh and Michigan might finally break through to beat Ohio State and earn a spot in the College Football Playoff, but the Buckeyes dominated the Wolverines en route to a 62-39 win. While both teams ended up being left out of the playoff, you can tell how important that win was to Meyer.
On the flip side, Harbaugh will not get a chance to get the best of Meyer. In many ways, this year’s loss to Ohio State was the worst of his time in Ann Arbor.
Urban Meyer announced on Tuesday that he will step down as the head coach of Ohio State following the Rose Bowl, and there has been a lot of talk about the recent hit his reputation has taken playing a role in his decision. As they have done many times in the past, Meyer’s daughters defended him against that narrative.
Meyer’s younger daughter, Gigi, took direct aim at the media. She shared some photos of the Meyer family along with a message that read, “A legacy isn’t shattered in a couple months and a legacy most certainly isn’t determined by the media.”
— Gigi Meyer (@GG_40) December 5, 2018
Nicki Meyer, Urban’s oldest of three children, retweeted Gigi’s message in addition to some stories former players shared about the way Urban impacted their lives.
Stories like this one from former Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee (2013-15) on retiring Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer are a part of what makes college football so great. pic.twitter.com/dkmOJjoNRF
— Garrett Stepien (@GarrettStepien) December 5, 2018
Nicki also said she can’t wait to have Urban back home with his family full time.
What a run! So incredibly proud. Welcoming our daddy and Buddy back to us full time with open arms. pic.twitter.com/8wbjZTGf2g
— Nicki Meyer Dennis (@Nicki_07) December 4, 2018
Meyer’s family passionately defended him when there was talk of the coach exaggerating his health issues as an excuse to leave Florida back in 2010, and they came to his defense again when he was accused of helping to cover up domestic violence allegations against a former member of his staff. The family has always been very close-knit.
Urban Meyer and Ohio State held a press conference on Monday to announce that the coach will step down following the Rose Bowl, and there were several questions asked about whether Meyer intends to return to coaching at any point in the future. You could argue that his responses were difficult to interpret.
When asked if his stint as head coach of the Buckeyes will be the last of his career, Meyer said the question was “complicated.”
Asked if this is the end of his coaching career, Meyer says, "That's a complicated question" as part of a wide-ranging answer. Also says he hopes to stay involved at Ohio State.
— The Athletic CFB (@TheAthleticCFB) December 4, 2018
Pressed further, Meyer then said he is “fairly certain” he will not coach again.
Reporter: Will you coach again?
Urban Meyer: "I believe I will not coach again."
Reporter: "Are you fairly certain?"
Urban Meyer: "I'm fairly certain, yes."
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) December 4, 2018
Given what happened after he cited health reasons for leaving Florida, it seems like Meyer knows enough to be more careful this time around. While he said the headaches he has been dealing with started to hit “real hard” last season and again this year. he is young by coaching standards at age 54. He probably is genuinely uncertain of what the future will hold.
Meyer has clearly dealt with health issues over the years, but there has also been speculation that he is not pleased with the administration at Ohio State. His reputation took a huge hit after he was accused of helping to cover up domestic violence allegations against a longtime member of his coaching staff, and that almost certainly played a role in his decision to step down.