The Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, NC had been a somewhat less than exciting affair up until about 6:58pm when someone broke the news that Urban Meyer had abruptly stepped down as the Head Coach at the University of Florida.
Meyer—in his fifth year at Florida—is regarded as one of the top coaches in the country and has led the Gators to two National Championships and an over all 56 – 10 (32 – 8 SEC) record.
In his press release Meyer stated medical reasons for the resignation saying, "I have given my heart and soul to coaching college football and mentoring young men for the last 24-plus years and I have dedicated most of my waking moments the last five years to the Gator football program, I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to re-evaluate my priorities of faith and family. After consulting with my family, Dr. Machen, Jeremy Foley and my doctors, I believe it is in my best interest to step aside and focus on my health and family.”
Athletics Director Jeremy Foley described in a statement the difficulty of Meyer breaking ties with the school.
"Coach Meyer and I have talked this through and I realize how hard this was for him to reach this decision," Foley said. "But, the bottom line is that Coach Meyer needed to make a choice that is in the best interest of his well being and his family. I certainly appreciate what he has meant to the University of Florida, our football program and the Gator Nation. I have never seen anyone more committed to his players, his family and his program. Above all, I appreciate our friendship."
One thing is for sure, the coaching Carousel just broke wide open. Brian Kelly has to be kicking himself, he would have likely been the first name called.
Now, names like Jon Gruden—who still resides in Florida and most recently coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL—are being thrown out by media figures (at least the ones here in the Meineke Bowl Press Box), who also wonder if Charlie Strong—Florida’s Defensive Coordinator that just accepted a job at Louisville might reconsider.
There is probably no truth to the rummor that Tim Tebow will be the interim head coach for the Sugar Bowl but one thing is for certain, things just got very interesting for the Gators!