Florida head coach Urban Meyer resigned for the second time in less than a year on Wednesday, announcing the move at an on campus press conference. The first attempt lasted just a day, which he said was due to health reasons but this time around, Meyer is leaving the game to be a husband and father.
He leaves his 52 player family to be with his 4 member family.
“At the end of the day, I’m very convinced that you’re going to be judged on how you are as a husband and as a father and not on how many bowl games we won,” Meyer said at a news conference.
Meyer will coach one final game on Jan. 1, when the Gators travel to Tampa to take on Joe Paterno and the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Outback Bowl.
Meyer called Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley on Saturday to tell him he was contemplating retirement. On Tuesday they met and reached a conclusion on Meyers decisions. Meyer will be walking away from about $20 million in guaranteed salary after he signed a six-year, $24 million extension just last year. He will receive $1 million in retention bonus that he would have earned had he been employed on Jan. 31, 2011.
The announcement by Meyer caught his players, fans and all of college football by surprise. He plans to be involved in the search for a new coach, which Foley said he hopes to have before Christmas. Meyer did leave the possibility of one day returning to the sideline but said it is not going to happen anytime soon.
“I’ve not seen my two girls play high school sports. They’re both very talented Division I-A volleyball players, so I missed those four years. I missed two already with one away at college. I can’t get that time back,” he said.
In the six years coaching the Gators, Meyer had a record of 64-15 but this season they lost five games, it was the first time since 1988 and their season ended with a 31-7 shellacking by the Florida State Seminoles, which was Meyers first loss to their cross state rivals.
There are several coaches which the Gators could be interested in, including Utah’s Kyle Whittingham, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen and Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino.
But we will just have to wait and see who is next in line for one of the best coaching jobs in college football.