Geez… You spend one day away shopping for bedroom furniture and all Hell breaks loose.
The most successful college football coach in the country, in recent years at least, has decided to call it quits.
Citing concerns for his health and family, University of Florida Head Football Coach Urban Meyer has resigned. The Gators’ Sugar Bowl match-up with Cincinnati will be Meyers last game at the helm. Wow.
After reading statements from both Meyer and those around him, it seems there’s not a hint of ulterior motives in his reasoning. Assuming he is prioritizing his health and family above personal success and career fulfillment, you can’t help but admire the coach’s decision to part ways with the Gators at the peak of his reign over college football.
At 45, Meyer’s .841 winning percentage leads all active coaches with at least 5 years experience. A head coach leaving the game at his age and with his credentials has to be unprecedented in big time athletics.
TCU Coach Gary Patterson was equal parts stunned and proud in his interview with The Quad.
“You’ve got to give the guy a lot of credit, I think, for making this kind of decision because for us as football coaches, it’s always been about the game,” Patterson said. “For him to make a decision to decide at this point in time to hang it up and do it for his health and his family, I think shows the strength of him as a man.
“He’s 45 years old and wants to get a chance to see his family grow up and do things. Some of us haven’t made those decisions in our lives. He’s as strong as he is because he put family and health in front of something that he truly loves to do.”
Even as an admitted “Gator-Hater”, I can’t help but echo Patterson’s sentiments. For a man in Meyer’s position to make this decision at this point in his career, you have to believe that he truly has his life perspective in order.
In a coaching landscape where “succession plans” and “forced retirements” have become common place, it’s refreshing to see a coach decide he’s had enough long before everyone else decides he’s had enough.
As far as a possible replacement for Meyer goes, names like Stoops, Petrino, Peterson, Shanahan, Mullen and Strong have all been thrown around.
Regardless of who succeeds Meyer at Florida, it’s hard to imagine anyone leading the Gators to more success than he has over the past 5 seasons.
It’s even harder to imagine any of those coaches stepping away from it all afterwards.