Posted by Adam Jacobi
The college football world was rocked today when the University of Florida announced that Urban Meyer would step down as head coach after the Gators' Outback Bowl match against Penn State on January 1. A press conference is scheduled for later this evening.
The announcement comes nearly a year to the day after Meyer's last resignation from the school, and like last year, Meyer's current resignation appears to be health-related. While Meyer doesn't specifically mention health in his resignation, he also makes no mention of any future professional aspirations, just to spend more time with his family. Moreover, as Ken Gordon of the Columbus Dispatch reported today, sources close to Meyer indicated that he appeared to be in poor health once again, suffering from various stress-related maladies. In other words, it's extremely unlikely at this point that Meyer's resignation is a sign that he's a candidate for the Denver Broncos (featuring third-string quarterback Tim Tebow ) or that his impending availability had anything to do with the firing Josh McDaniels earlier this week.
And again, Meyer has announced that he will at least coach through the end of this season, so Florida fans dreading the words "interim head coach Steve Addazio " can at least rest easily. The Florida job is high-profile enough that the school will likely have its pick of candidates, so any downtime between Meyer's stepping down and the new coach's hiring should be minimal -- think a couple weeks or so.
Here's Meyer's statement, released through the university:
“I have been a Division I football coach for the last 25 years and, during that time, my primary focus has been helping my teams win titles,” Meyer said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, and I am a fierce competitor to my core. At this time in my life, however, I appreciate the sacrifices my 24/7 profession has demanded of me, and I know it is time to put my focus on my family and life away from the field. The decision to step down was a difficult one.
“But after spending more than two decades motivating and celebrating the young men I’ve been so proud to coach, I relish the opportunity to cheer for my three terrific kids as they compete in their own respective sports. I know how fortunate I am to be in a position to make this choice and to have a family that is as loving and supportive as my amazing wife and children have always been.”