Resignation of Urban Meyer Leaves Florida Fans Feeling Angry, Sympathetic
Either way, Meyer is gone.
"You have to wonder if we had a different season if this would be happening," Deanna Trombetta, 39, of Atlanta told FanHouse. "We have to have someone who is completely all in when leading our program."
Meyer, 46, who guided the program to two national championships in 2006 and 2008, spent six season at UF and led the team to a 64-15 record.
However, he resigns after his worst season as coach. The Gators are 7-5 heading into the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.
Meyer cited no specific health concerns, which were at the root of his first resignation in December, 2009. Meyer has indicated he wants to focus on his family and his life outside of football.
Still, the news didn't settle well with many fans.
"Sure I am disappointed because it feels like he's quitting after having a tough year," said Eddie Bass, a Bull Gator (boosters who donate a minimum of $13,000 annually to the football program).
"I feel like he's quitting on the kids."
Meyer will coach his last game for Florida in the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl against Penn State in Tampa.
This season marked the first time the Gators lost five regular-season games since 1988. The season ended with an embarrassing 31-7 defeat at Florida State. After that game, a determined Meyer vowed to fix the Gators' problems.
That promise will be another coach's responsibility.
"Change is good in any business and it doesn't hurt my feelings," said Bull Gator Thad Beshears.
The Gators' struggles were well documented. They ranked 10th in the SEC in offense this season and offensive coordinator Steve Addazio, a longtime Meyer assistant, had come under fire for the problems.
Some wondered if Meyer was pressured into making any personnel changes, or was unwilling. The circumstances surrounding his departure certainly ruined the holiday spirit.
"It's definitely disappointing from a leadership standpoint to see him step down after one bad season; he's kind of jumping ship on us," said UF graduate student Cameron Snipes.
Stephen Belser, a graduate student who was raised here in UF's backyard, took an appreciative stance. He wanted to thank Meyer for the work he did at Florida.
"I am sad to see him go, but to me, the Gator Nation should be proud of everything that he has done for us," Belser said.
"He has brought the Florida Gators back to the front line of powerhouses in college football. We should count our blessings in terms of what all he has done for us, and I wish him farewell. We should also have the trust in (athletic director) Jeremy Foley to find the right coach."
Throughout Meyer's tenure as coach, the Gators were the epitome of success, finishing with 13 wins three times. In addition, Meyer led the team to a school-record 22 consecutive victories and won three SEC East titles and two conference championships.
Still, Meyer's decision to walk away has left fans with an empty feeling.
"When I first heard I was truly just confused by it," said Trombetta, a 1993 graduate.
"I am a little bitter, to be honest with you. We wanted so badly for him to change his mind last year. And this year when I saw he resigned, I was like fine, take your toys and go home.
"There's clearly some things that we don't understand going on with him and his family and in his life. He obviously needs to take care of that. I am happy in that regard for him, and now let's go get somebody else who will be all in and committed."
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