One of College Football's most prolific coaches has decided to retire at the young age of 46. Sadly, I am writing this article not so much out of my respect for Urban Meyer, but more my disgust of how spoiled, fat and sassy college football fans have gotten, especially at big name programs like Florida.
These past few days I have expected to see an outpouring of support for Meyer, letters pouring in begging him to stay, and people gathering to voice support for the man. Instead, the general impression I have gotten from Florida fans is “Good bye, good riddance.”
Instead message boards are filled with hateful messages, fans upset over a 7-5 season and an inept offense. Yet, all of these fans are couch coaches. They sit on their bums, watch someone else's hard work and rant and rave about how much better it could be done. Most of these fans will never get off their couches, of course, and the most proactive coaching they will plan on doing is playing a few rounds of NCAA football on their X-Box. They will never understand the day-in-day-out pressures of coaching a major college football program. You have recruits to sign, boosters to please, schemes to plan, film to watch and, if you can find the time, taking care of your own family.
A 7-5 season sounded about right for anybody not drinking the Florida Kool-aid, but instead actually examining the loss of key seniors and two years of bleeding assistants and coordinators. Many teams have trouble adjusting to having a new starting quarterback, especially when replacing someone of Tebow's magnitude. Just ask Texas Longhorn fans who will not even be watching their team play in a bowl game this year.
Urban Meyer deserves better then being disrespected. Florida fans tend to forget that only two coaches have been ridiculously successful at Florida, Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer. Beyond the record of those two coaches, Florida has been mediocre at best.
Spurrier brought the national championship to Gainesville for the first time and enjoyed considerable success during the 90's, however, when we left he was replaced by a mediocre Ron Zook and Florida looked like it would slip back into the middle of the pack. Then came Urban Meyer. He didn't just win two national championships and enjoy an astounding. 81 win percentage at Florida, his work has ensured that Gainesville will remain a top destination stop for coaches, coordinators, and football players a like. Spurrier may have fathered Florida's success, but it is Meyer who built the foundations for that success to carry on for the coming decades.
Dan Mullen was not the key to Urban Meyer's success. Charlie Strong wasn't either, though both contributed. Urban Meyer was the key to Urban Meyer's success. He bled, sweat and cried blue and orange for six years and he brought two national championships, along with other major bowl wins, to Gainesville.
Fans should be saddened, not excited, that Urban Meyer is moving on. Urban Meyer has given everything and more to Florida and deserves respect and admiration. If Florida remains a power for years to come, that success will be because of the work and effort that Urban Meyer put into the Florida program for six years.
Farewell Urban Meyer. May you find the life and joy you deserve.
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