Ohio State Football Coach Urban Meyer Retiring

By Lawrence Lease on December 13, 2018

This week, Ohio State announced that Urban Meyer would be retiring as the Buckeyes’ Head Coach at the conclusion of the Rose Bowl. Meyer’s offensive coordinator, Ryan Day, was tabbed as the successor to the Ohio State program. As it stands now, Meyer’s record at Ohio State is 82-9, he’s won three Big Ten Titles, and he won a National Championship with the Buckeyes in 2014.

Urban Meyer

By: Pixabay.com

Before that, Meyer turned Florida into one of the most dominant teams in college football in the late 2000s, winning two National Championships. He even turned Utah and Bowling Green into respectable programs in his four combined years at both schools.

However, his legacy will be a lot more complicated than what he’s accomplished on the football field.

Arguably, his last season coaching was the most difficult for Meyer and the Buckeyes. Meyer was suspended at the start of August while Ohio State investigated his knowledge of his ex-assistant coach’s domestic assault claims. He was ultimately spared of being fired, but the university handed Meyer a three-game suspension to start the season.

While Ohio State rolled on to win the Big Ten Championship, they had several reoccurring problems. The defense struggled in a lot of games and gave up many chunk plays. On the offensive side, the Buckeyes struggled to establish the run and relied heavily on the Heisman-candidate quarterback, Dwayne Haskins.

This came to hurt the Buckeyes when they traveled to West Lafayette to play Purdue. Despite Ohio State being ranked in the top 5, the Boilermakers played the perfect game and rolled to a 49-20 victory. This was the third time in three years that an Urban Meyer-led squad was blown out by 20-plus points.

Ohio State would go on to survive an overtime game against lowly Maryland, 52-51. In a game where defense seemed optional, the Terrapins kept pace with Ohio State throughout the game. If it wasn’t for an incomplete pass on a 2-point conversion, Maryland would’ve handed Ohio State an even more devastating loss than Purdue.

The negative attention continued to get worse when Urban Meyer collapsed on the sidelines during a game against Indiana. Meyer tried to get in front of the story by saying he’s been dealing with an arachnoid cyst in his brain, a condition that causes debilitating headaches.

However, Meyer’s revelation of his condition had the opposite effect, as members of the sports media began speculating whether or not he would step away from coaching after the season. During games, ESPN cameras would watch Urban Meyer and air his reactions to bad officiating and poor play by his team.

Meyers’ departure from Ohio State draws a lot of parallels to when he left Florida after 2010. There, he won two National Championships with players like Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, Reilly Cooper, and Aaron Hernandez. However, his success with the Gators wasn’t without controversy, as at least 30 players got in trouble with the law during his tenure.

Meyer ended up retiring twice from Florida. Once after the 2009 season after a 13-1 season capped by a Sugar Bowl win, and then he permanently left after a less-than-impressive 8-5 campaign in 2010. After working at ESPN for a season, he accepted the job at Ohio State in 2012.

Whether Meyer will do the same thing this time around remains to be seen. At 54, he’s retiring at a relatively young age. But if one thing was clear when ESPN had a camera on him during games, he looked overwhelmed and at times burned out by the stress of this tumultuous season. Whether or not Meyer returns for one more run at glory will be a discussion for him to have with his family, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he came back.

No one can deny he’s a brilliant football coach and will go down as one of the greatest to coach the game. But he’s left Florida and Ohio State in sticky situations after off-the-field issues. In fact, Urban Meyer is extremely lucky that Ohio State didn’t fire him for the Zach Smith scandal. Too bad the Buckeyes, like many other scandal-ridden schools before them, value winning over taking a moral stand.

Urban Meyer is one of the most accomplished coaches in college football history. But like many coaches and other important figures in history, he’s also very complicated.

Born and raised in Wasilla, Alaska. I am citizen journalist and looking to find a official paying journalism job somewhere in the country. I enjoy watching TV, reading books and traveling.

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