Urban Meyer No Longer Coaching Florida Gators: What Happened?

Colin BennettContributor IDecember 8, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 30:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Florida Gators watches the action during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field on October 30, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Urban Meyer Stepped out of The Swamp for good today - at least we think so. In a statement this morning, he cited the usual reasons: spending time with his family and children. We wish him well, he was an excellent coach who was able to bring not only Florida to prominence, but also Utah and Bowling Green in his time there.

So what made him pack his whistle in? You can take him on his word - but after his one day retirement turned leave of absence turned back in into coaching - it's hard to know what's really on his mind. That leaves us to try to formulate theories in our heads. What makes a man who has won 75% of his conference games, a man who has never lost a BCS game, say enough is enough after a single down year?

Maybe a 7-5 season was enough to end his career. In his five previous years, he had only lost 10 games. Speculation was that he had lost too many starters from last year, too many stars and assistants on his staff to keep the continuity that he wanted in the program. From 2009, he lost a handful of big name players to graduation and the NFL draft, including his favorite start Tim Tebow.

Meyer's relationship with Tebow was near legendary. The two were as close to inseparable as a coach and quarterback could be, and many speculated that Urban's leave of absence was as much related to losing his beloved quarterback as it was about his personal health. Whatever the reason, he leaves a mountain of questions to be answered at The Swamp.

For the Gators, the questions are obvious: who takes over? More than likely the answer will come from a former Florida coordinator, or perhaps they will nab another non-AQ coach, like from TCU or Boise State. Will the next coach be able to bring big wins and championships right away like Urban? Will he able to recruit like Meyer did? Those answers will come in time.

For now, all Florida fans can do is wish their former coach well, and hope if - and when - he comes back to the field, it's with the Gators again.