Yes, Virginia, Meyer will probably come to Notre Dame, but not anytime soon. Here's a little background on the subject (and some breaking news from Meyer's Tuesday, Dec. 16 comments).
Associated Press, 12/03/2004:
"SALT LAKE CITY—Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White took off in a private jet, flying into a cold Utah night without Urban Meyer...
The Fighting Irish officially began their pursuit of Meyer on Thursday night when White and incoming school president The Rev. John Jenkins spent several hours meeting with Meyer about taking over the nation's most storied college football program."
Notre Dame's "eleventh hour" offer was not acceptable to the Meyer family in '04 and won't be acceptable until about 2018. The fly in the ointment then (and now) was the coast-to-coast recruiting required at Notre Dame vs. short in-state hops for recruiting at Florida.
Florida meant every night at home with the family; Notre Dame meant sleeping in hotels and being away from his family five nights a week during the long recruiting season.
From Buddy Martin's book "Urban's Way":
"Remember now, Shelley still had 'veto rights' on all but three schools—and Notre Dame was one, where she had only 49 per cent of the vote.
"At the end of the night, way into the wee hours of the morning, Urban and Shelley sorted it all out. They were going to Florida. The next morning they called Foley, who rushed over to their house.
"Shelley remembers Foley coming to the Meyer house and shaking hands with Urban, who said, 'I'm coming to Florida.' She was so happy that she screamed."
The Florida choice was not about prestige or money—it was about family. The Meyers had moved to and from college towns half a dozen times before coming to Florida. Urban and Shelley have put down roots in Gainesville. Meyer has made it clear by his words AND his actions that Gainesville is home for the Meyers until the children are fully grown.
Meyer made a simple off-handed comment a few days ago which has been blown completely out of proportion by headline-hungry "journalists."
Here is the quote:
"Once my kids are done, maybe some day I'll go coach there," Meyer told WQAM. "I don't know that. That's way down the road. Being a father and being able to recruit the best athletes in America within a five-hour radius of my home, that's why I came to Florida. I thought we could have a great chance at success."
"To be the head football coach of Notre Dame, you're on a plane recruiting because you recruit San Diego as hard as you recruit New York as hard as you recruit Florida, Texas, Ohio," said Meyer, whose youngest child has yet to reach middle school. "It's a national recruiting base. I recruited there for six years, and I spent every night in a hotel in an airport. I'm going to be a good father first."
On Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008 Meyer further clarified the issue:
"Our staff has given our life to Florida football for four years. We plan on giving our life to Florida football for a long, long time. You start hearing, 'Well coach, I thought you said [that Notre Dame was] your dream job.' I grew up in the North and that was my dream job. Probably always will, but that has nothing to do with this.
"This is my dream job. This is my job. I hope to be here for a long, long time. I hear that out there and it's my fault. But this is everything I want in a school. This is the best job in America. You don't give your life to a school like our whole staff has. We plan on doing this for a long time."
Sorry, Virginia, but you'll have to wait a decade or so before seriously considering Meyer as a candidate at Notre Dame. If the job is still open in 2018, Meyer will be your guy...sorry, no sooner. But, if it helps any, some hack will probably write a "Meyer moving to South Bend" story every week or so in the interim.
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