Urban Meyer's Resignation and Nine Other Sudden Sports Exits

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Urban Meyer's Resignation and Nine Other Sudden Sports Exits
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For the second time in a calender year, Urban Meyer walks away from Gator Nation

The decision of Florida Gators Coach Urban Meyer to resign and spend more time with his family is respectable and speaks volumes for the family man Meyer wants to become.

Meyer has been married for 25 years and is the father of three children. It has been during those 25 years that Meyer has worked his way through the ranks, becoming arguably the most successful head coach in college football today.

To be a great head coach in any sport many long hours are needed and many stories have been told by current and former NFL and college head coaches of never seeing their families during the season.

Sleeping on the couch in the office during the season is very commonplace for many successful coaches at both levels.

Meyer’s career began coaching defensive backs for a local Cincinnati high school team in 1985. He would move onto become an assistant for three different universities in the next 13 years, including the University Notre Dame.

In 2001 Meyer would become the head coach at Bowling Green University, continuing his upward rise Meyer moved on to Utah. It was there that Meyer’s spread offense would explode, leading Utah to an undefeated season in 2004 and catapulting Meyer onto the National scene.

Meyer would become the Head Coach for the Florida Gators in 2005.

Meyer dominated the state of Florida and the SEC. The Gators’s were 64-15 during Meyer’s tenure, winning two National Championships. Florida won a school record 22 straight games and re-established its dominance over their three biggest rivals.

The Gators were 16-2 over Tennessee, Georgia and Florida State. Many speculated that his dominance over the Volunteers and Seminoles were factors in the departures of both schools coaching legends. Bobby Bowden and Phil Fullmore would see their tenures come to an end with Meyer at Florida.

Many people in the Florida college football scene speculated that Bowden couldn’t recruit with Meyer in Gainesville.

Meyer has never experienced a losing season as head coach in Division one college football, compiling a ten year coaching record of 103-23.

Hours of long work, film study and recruiting as well as coaching in arguably the most competitive conference in the country caught up with Urban Meyer’s health last December.

Following the Gator's loss in last year’s SEC Championship game to Alabama, Meyer was admitted into a Gainesville hospital with chest pains.

Meyer would step down on December 26th, citing health concerns. The very next day he rescinded his leaving saying he would instead take a leave of absence, take better care of his health and return to coach the Gator's this season.

Urban Meyer never seemed to fully come back from his December 26th announcement.

I live in Florida and follow the Gator's very closely, it was evident following every Gator loss Meyer wasn't the same coach this season. The intensity never showed through and it was reflected on the field as the Gator's would finish 7-5, their worst season since 2004. The year before Meyer arrived in Gainesville.

Yesterday, Meyer announced his resignation, effective following his teams last game, The Gator Bowl on New Year’s Day.

There is a bit of irony in this game, standing across the field on the other sideline coaching against Meyer in his last game will be the winningest coach in college football (FBS) history, Joe Paterno.

Paterno has been patrolling the sidelines of Penn State since 1950 and has been their head coach since 1966.

I wonder if there will be any media attention paid to the tenure of Joe Pa compared to Meyer’s relatively short career. Paterno will turn 84 on December 21st. Meyer is 46.

I commend Urban Meyer for wanting to be with his family. Meyer's success is an obvious indication of how much time he has spent away from his family.

 I'm sure it's every college or NFL's coach’s dream to spend more time with their family

Meyer's is considered one of the innovators of the spread offense. It is one of the most copied offenses in college football.

If only Meyer could have figured out a way to win all of those games while being able to eat dinner with his family, attend his children’s school activities and sleep in his own bed every night. That system would have become more copied than any offense or defense in the history of college or professional football.

Meyer’s decision to step aside is hardly a surprise, after all he tried to do it last year.Here are nine surprising retirements in recent sports history and how these athletes went out of the games they loved, or did not love, anymore.

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