One of the most successful eras in college football history is coming to an end.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer plans on retiring after this season, Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reported Tuesday, citing sources. Meyer’s last game with the Buckeyes will be their Rose Bowl showdown with Washington on Jan. 1.
“A myriad of factors contributed to Meyer’s decision,” Thamel wrote, “but sources say foremost among them was his happiness with the state of the Ohio State program he inherited seven years ago.”
Offensive coordinator Ryan Day is expected to take over as Ohio State head coach.
Meyer, 54, is relatively young for a football coach, but health issues reportedly played a role in his decision. Meyer had brain surgery in 2014 to address a congenital arachnoid cyst, but he still deals with occasional painful headaches. This also isn’t the first time Meyer has stepped away from coaching.
In 2009, he announced he was resigning from his job at the University of Florida only to clarify the next day he was taking a leave of absence. A year later, he actually resigned, saying he wanted to spend more time with his 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 campus news conference.
Less than a year later, he was hired at Ohio State.
Meyer had a wildly successful run in Columbus, which he looks to culminate with a Rose Bowl victory. The Buckeyes won at least 10 games in each of Meyer’s seven seasons with the school, a run that was highlighted by a national championship in 2014 when Ohio State went 14-1 and rolled to the title win over Oregon. Perhaps just as important as all of that, Meyer never lost to Michigan.
His time at Ohio State wasn’t without controversy. Meyer came under fire for his response — or lack thereof — in regards to allegations of domestic abuse against one of his assistant coaches. Meyer ultimately was suspended for the Buckeyes’ summer program and the first three games of the 2018 season. Day coached the team in Meyer’s absence.
If Meyer’s career actually is done, he’ll walk away with a 186-32 career record, 10-3 bowl record (pending the Rose Bowl) and three national titles amid stints at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State.
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