Urban Meyer Stepping Down as Head Coach for Florida Gators, ESPN Reports

Mike OsterbergCorrespondent IDecember 8, 2010

GAINESVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 16:  Coach urban Meyer of the Florida Gators checks the scoreboard during play against the Mississippi State Bulldogs October 16, 2010 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

ESPN is now reporting that Urban Meyer, the head coach at the University of Florida, is stepping down from his position.

You may remember a similar situation last year when Meyer said he was stepping down but returned soon after. Odds are he wouldn't do the same thing two years in a row, so it seems that this is serious.

Eighty-one players of his have signed NFL contracts, and he's created one of the most powerful football programs in the country. Meyer is at the top of his profession, but he's decided that now is the time to end his coaching career.

This could do significant damage to Florida's recruiting, as many players may back out of their commitments due to this shocking news.

Meyer says he is stepping down to focus on his family, and I'd have to imagine that his health has factored into this decision as well.

The question now: Who will be the next coach at Florida?

Jon Gruden?

Mike Leach?

The hot names will all be in contention, and another to keep an eye on is Dan Mullen. He's the head coach at Mississippi State and the former offensive coordinator for the Gators.

It turns out Meyer will stay on to coach the team in the Outback Bowl, but that will be his last game as the Florida Gators' head coach.

In any case, the Florida Gator football team will have a new head man come next season.