Urban Meyer Credits Florida Football Success to Bill Belichick

C.S. MiltonContributor IJuly 14, 2009

HOUSTON - JANUARY 30:  New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick poses with the Vince Lombardi trophy after a press conference on January 30, 2004 at the Hilton Hotel in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Orlando SentinelHighlights from Sentinel staff writer Chris Harry’s Q&A with Florida Gators football coach Urban Meyer:

HARRY: You hear a lot in the offseason about coaches going to visit different schools and exchanging ideas with other coaches for the sake of the program and professional development… Where do you draw the line?

MEYER: It’s hard. We’ve drawn it more… You just don’t have time. So the last few years we’ve kind of made it off limits. We do allow some in… Bill Belichick comes down every year… I get 10 times more than what he gets from us.

HARRY: Give me an example of something Bill Belichick could share with you.

MEYER: Where do I start? I am amazed at the how he handles elite athletes. You never hear about issues with off-the-field stuff. I am amazed to the point that I got on a plane and I went up and watched over three days and saw how he handled these, um, some of these elite guys. For some reason, the Patriots do this, but you hear about the Cowboys and these other teams just falling apart because of chemistry issues. And then there’s Bill Belichick. Our whole program is based on what we learned from him…

So Urban Meyer, who led the Gators to two national titles in three years, says he bases his entire program on what he’s learned from Bill Belichick? 

Does a week go by that someone isn’t praising Belichick’s brilliance at running a program and managing people? And I’m not talking about media monkeys parroting some cliched drivel like, “Phil Jackson is a genius,” or, “Everyone respects Joe Torre.” 

I’m talking about football coaches. Real football coaches. Die-hard guys who’ve put their hearts and souls into the game.

Belichick’s peers who understand the requirements of the job better than anyone universally look up to the man. 

He’s the football lifer’s football lifer. 

If anyone’s still wondering why I have a Bill Belichick bedspread and put a gray hoodie on my pillow and spoon with it while I pretend it’s saying, “It is what it is,” in my ear as I drift off to sleep every night, here’s your answer.