Urban Meyer has stepped down at the University of Florida.
For real this time.
One of the winningest coaches of the past five years, Meyer, 46, cited focusing on things away from the field, mainly his family, as his reason for stepping down after 25 years of being a Division I coach.
In six seasons at Florida, Meyer was named the national coach of the year three times and produced an impressive 64-15 record at the school.
With this resignation comes much speculation to follow: Will he ever coach again? When will he be back? Will he actually end up at Notre Dame?
The answer to the first question is rather simple: Urban Meyer will be back. However, he will not be back coaching on the sidelines in South Bend.
After the firing of Charlie Weis, Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick went hard after a few big names, including Meyer, the former Irish assistant. Stating he would "love to come back to the school one day," Meyer decided otherwise, as he did six years ago when choosing Florida over the Irish after a successful kick-start stint at Utah.
Now, landing on Brian Kelly, the Irish have their new head coach—the head coach who led them to one of the "best" 7-5 seasons in program history, thanks to a great ending to the regular season in which Kelly beat Utah, Army and USC to close out the year. Heading into a Sun Bowl matchup with Miami, Kelly is on course to start adding plenty of fans to his bandwagon heading into the 2011 season with some anticipated hype already.
Although some Irish fans would welcome Meyer to South Bend with open arms, it's not going to happen. It's not going to happen now, and it's almost undoubtedly not going to happen in the future. Too much has happened in this relationship for it to develop further, especially after two spurns by the coach.
The college landscape is changing rather quickly as of late. Leaving two of the nation's powerhouse programs (Florida and Miami) without a coach heading into 2011, how will some of these schools respond?
Only a year ago, Meyer stepped down, citing health problems, leaving the program in a state of panic. Because of that, Florida AD Jeremy Foley must have some kind of short-list of candidates. If he doesn't, it might be time to panic again thanks to the underwhelming list of candidates currently floating around.
It's hard to imagine this 46-year-old staying out of the game for long, especially considering how much love he has for it. Health problems or not, it isn't hard to see that Meyer is one of the best coaches to come through college football in a while, whether you like him or not.
There are plenty of uncertainties surrounding the situation and Meyer's future for now. But one thing is for certain: No matter how long Meyer is out of the game, he won't be heading to South Bend anytime soon.
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