Dec 27

Meyer to Take New Roll

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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I knew Urban Meyer was one of the smartest coaches in college football, but now I know he is also one of the smartest overall people in the game, as well. Some folks ignore their health until it finds them pushing up daisies from six feet under. Meyer, who is in the prime of his coaching career, chose not to risk that, but rather to reward his family for enduring what has surely been a stressful time for all involved.

He will go down as one of the best college football coaches of his day, and perhaps of all-time. He won two national championships for the Florida Gators, and also led Utah to an undefeated season in 2004. His overall collegiate coaching record was a remarkable 95-18, with a 5-1 bowl record. If I had to name one man to coach my favorite team, it would either be Meyer or Nick Saban. That is the ultimate compliment I can give out.

No offense to Brian Kelly, but now we know why Urban Meyer didn't get offered the Notre Dame job before Kelly did. Meyer is a man of high character, and he surely let someone deep inside the program in South Bend know what was about to happen. I am not saying he would have taken the job, anyway. But Meyer is a class act, and being a person who has always had tremendous respect for ND, you can bet the ranch that he purposefully spared ND - and himself -  the huge non-story that would have been his non-interview at Notre Dame. Once again, a class move by a class guy.

But back to his health, and what is important. Despite his remarkable run at Florida, which included 14 weeks at number 1 in 2009, Meyer's family surely has been living in a stressed-out situation, and must be happy with this decision. When my dad was in the hospital recently, I was stressed at all hours of the day, even after he was released. So I am sure the Meyer clan is totally relieved to see the stress of running a powerhouse SEC football program put to an end. The medical problems will not go away instantly, but I am a 100 percent believer that stress has a tremendous medical impact on the mind as well as the body, and I hope Meyer's new limited role in the Florida Athletc Department will allow him to get back to full health.

So what now in Gainesville? Names have already been thrown around to replace Meyer as head coach, including that of Dan Mullen who has UF connections and has gotten Mississippi State off to a good start in just his first season in Starkville. Another name being mentioned is that of Charlie Strong, who hasn't even unpacked his boxes in Louisville, where he was hired to be head man just a couple of weeks ago. There are other hot young names being thrown around, as well as members of the current Gator staff. This will be a very interesting hire to keep up with.

I am not a Florida fan, so to say. But I hope the Gators can find a good solution to this issue. They are losing a very high number of players, including 2007 Heisman winner Tim Tebow. Now, they are also losing their very admired and respected head coach. He is leaving in a way that none of us ever want to see happen, but he is leaving smart. I respect very, very much that Meyer put his family in front of football. Like I said, he could have perhaps guided the Gators to another title or two in the coming five or ten years as he is in his prime. But he put his family and health first, and for that my respect for this man is even higher than it was before.

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