Florida football coach Urban Meyer set to step down again. Is losing what he fears the most?
Stop me if I am wrong, but it seems like this is the same movie we were watching last year.
It was during the holiday season of 2009 that Urban Meyer told us he was departing as Florida’s head football coach because he needed to spend more time with his family. This news brought incredible joy to his daughter who proclaimed “I now have my daddy back.”
Flash forward to Christmas 2010 and it is expected that Meyer will today announce he is AGAIN stepping down as Florida’s head coach. Here is what Meyer has said through Florida athletic department sources:
“I have been a Division I football coach for the last 25 years and, during that time, my primary focus has been helping my teams win titles. I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, and I am a fierce competitor to my core. At this time in my life, however, I appreciate the sacrifices my 24/7 profession has demanded of me, and I know it is time to put my focus on my family and life away from the field. The decision to step down was a difficult one.”
There is no doubt that Meyer has enjoyed a great career on the field, but all it took for him to break his daughter’s heart after last year’s resignation was one good practice in preparation for a bowl game.
While last year he was given a pass because of his health issues this time around it is appropriate to say what should have been said then: Urban Meyer is ultra competitive and hates to lose. The loss to Alabama in the 2009 SEC championship game drove him to the first resignation. Now, on the heels of a disastrous season for the Gators he is going to run away from losing again.
It is easy to be the head man when everything is going your way and your team is in the running for an SEC title, which usually means a national championship is also a possibility. It is not difficult at all to be king of the world when you are ruling the recruiting world with one all-star class after another.
You know what is hard? It is hard to stay put and try to fix things when something is broken. It is hard to keep on keeping on when your team just finished 7-5 and that is the biggest failure you have ever experienced.
When Meyer starts talking about how he loves his family and owes them more, ignore him. Last year when he played the same card his actions told a different story when he came back to coach the Gators again. When Meyer starts talking about the great young men who have played for him and how he values his relationship with them, ignore him then too.
Why? Here is what he said last year after “coming back” as the Florida coach:
“If I am able to coach, I wanted to coach at one place and that’s the University of Florida. It would be ridiculous to get that feeling back, get the health back and throw on some other colors on my shirt and go coach. I don’t want to do that. I have too much love for this university’s players and what we’ve built.”
Meyer’s talks about love quite a bit. For both is players and family. In the final analysis it seems like the only true love Meyer has is winning. When he finds victory elusive it seems like the only response he has is to run away.