Gator Nation In Shock As Urban Meyer Steps Down As Florida Head Coach

William RamseyContributor IIDecember 26, 2009

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 5:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators looks on against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the SEC Championship game at Georgia Dome on December 5, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Florida faithful are in a state of disbelief tonight as it was just announced after 7pm Eastern time that Urban Meyer would be stepping down as the head coach for the Florida Gators. 

The mood around Gainesville must be a somber one as he will relinquish the reins of his Gator team after the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Night. 

In a statement released by Meyer a short time ago, he stated "I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to reevaluate my priorities of faith and family."

After a discussion with Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley, Foley told the media that he understood that Meyer needed to make a choice that was most beneficial for his health and the sake of his family.  Foley also acknowledged Meyer's many accomplishments and what his presence brought to Gator Nation. 

Meyer was hospitalized the day after the SEC Championship Game against Alabama for dehydration.  This hospital stay will most likely be scrutinized and analyzed over the next few days as Gator fans look for answers as to what could possibly be wrong with Coach Meyer and exactly what are his undisclosed health problems. 

This story will likely unfold after the Sugar Bowl as to the apparent reasons of Meyer leaving.  The only thing on Gator fans minds tonight must be, "What does the future hold for us now?"