Urban Meyer, Florida's two-time national champion head coach is leaving the university, citing medical and family reasons.
Meyer had an incident of overexhaustion and dehydration in early December, for which he was treated at the hospital. According to a Sports Illustrated report, Meyer had been feeling chest pains, and is now stepping down from coaching football at the University of Florida.
"I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to re-evaluate my priorities of faith and family." Said 45-year-old Meyer.
This leaves a few questions to be asked, although some have already been answered.
As for the Gators' bowl game, he will be coaching, but his leave is unknown if he is permanently stepping down and a long term replacement will be found, or if he is taking a leave of absence to deal with his medical issues and will return, possibly next season.
Anything more than that would be speculation as few details have come out other than his press release today stating his intentions to step down.
For Florida, their biggest concern as of now is winning their next game, the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati on Jan. 1.
However, it will be tough for the players and the university as well as their fans, not to look into the future. Who will come to Florida to be the next coach? Bob Stoops of Oklahoma? Someone from within the current coaching staff?
This coaching vacancy, and it's impact long-term on Florida, as in, the state, should not be overlooked. This "changing of the guard" so to speak, with a powerhouse team losing it's best coach, could leave open the door for intrastate recruiting wars.
The recent rise of Miami back into national prominence will place pressure on the recruiting ability of Florida, known to reload, and to retool, rather than to rebuild.
Florida State had a stranglehold on recruiting in Florida for about a decade under former coach Bobby Bowden, and then "The U" picked up and ran with it's recruiting classes which led them to five national championships in eight years.
The change from Bowden to newly-promoted coach Jimbo Fisher and the surprising step down of Meyer at Florida could lead to a recruiting struggle. Florida State no longer can say "Come play for me, son. Play for Bobby."
And there's no more father-like coach to recruit talks coming from Meyer at Florida. How these teams and their new coaches adapt to the impact of this time of change will undoubtedly be interesting to watch as the seasons go by.
In all, the resignation of Meyer from Florida won't leave the team in shambles, but rather in a time of transition. A time during which we could see a return of the U of M, and Florida State.
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