Urban Meyer Steps Down at Florida, Cites Health Reasons
Meyer, who has won two national titles and three SEC East titles in his five years at Florida, leaves with the highest win percentage in Gator football history and a career mark of 56-10. In nine years as a head coach at Bowling Green, Utah, and Florida, Meyer's career record was 95-18.
Immediately the GatorZone website where the official release went up was so flooded with visitors that it became inaccessible. In the release, Meyer stated as follows:
"I have given my heart and soul to coaching college football and mentoring young men for the last 24-plus years and I have dedicated most of my waking moments the last five years to the Gator football program," Meyer, 45, said in statement. "I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to reevaluate my priorities of faith and family.
"After consulting with my family, Dr. Machen, Jeremy Foley and my doctors, I believe it is in my best interest to step aside and focus on my health and family." "I'm proud to be a part of the Gainesville community and the Gator Nation and I plan to remain in Gainesville and involved with the University of Florida."
Meyer, just 45 years old, is 32-8 all-time in the SEC, and led his Gators to a perfect 12-0 start to the 2009 season before losing to Alabama in the SEC title game on December's first weekend. In the wake of that game, Meyer was hospitalized and he now cites his health as the reason that he has chosen to resign as Florida football coach.
The Florida Gators, who recently lost their defensive coordinator, Charlie Strong, to the University of Louisville, play on New Year's evening against the Cincinnati Bearcats. In the meantime, the shockwaves from Meyer's abrupt departure will be felt for months, if not years.
Meyer remains the only coach in college football with two consensus BCS titles, and this past summer some were comparing him with legendary Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. Those comparisons are, for the moment, at rest.