5 Things We Learned from Urban Meyer's Press Conference
Meyer, coming out of a short-lived retirement, was known for taking his Florida Gators to two national championships while he was coaching.
Meyer’s lengthy press conference revealed his goal for the Ohio State football program, as well as what will become of Luke Fickell.
Click “Begin Slideshow” to read five things we learned about Coach Meyer.
1. Success Starts with the Coaching Staff
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Urban Meyer’s first order of business is to focus on the future of Ohio State’s coaching staff. When the team suffered a lackluster season, much of the blame shifted to the personnel. Specifically, offensive coordinator Jim Bollman was blamed for not developing star quarterback Braxton Miller’s potential.
Meyer plans on turning over a new leaf.
My goal right now is to put together a fantastic recruiting class and I've had. I've been very fortunate -- if you look back at the last 10 years of being head coach, I've coached with arguably the best group of assistant coaches a good majority of them either been head coaches, they are head coaches now.
I think Ohio State deserves the best group of assistant coaches in America. Some will be on this staff. Some will be from anywhere in the country. The calls I've been getting and people of interest in this great university is overwhelming.
2. Then NCAA Sanctions Don't Scare Him
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With Ohio State learning of its fate on December 10 regarding the tattoo scandal, most head coaches would be scared away from the Buckeyes.
But not Urban Meyer.
Meyer is ready to lead the Buckeyes, no matter what the punishment is.
I think that's where the faith and trust has to come in. I have great trust and faith in our athletic director and president, Dr. Gee and Gene [Smith], that conversation was had.
On my own, I did a little bit of research. But at the end of the day I asked the same question you did: Is there anything behind Door No. 2, 3, 4? I feel very confident and have great trust that there's not.
We'll have to deal with the scholarship issue, and I have great trust that we will and we'll move forward.
3. Urban Meyer Understands
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When Jim Tressel was announced as the head coach of Ohio State, he stated, "I can assure you that you will be proud of your young people in the classroom, in the community, and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the football field.”
Urban Meyer also understands the importance of the rivalry:
Obviously that's the game of games. That's the game that I grew up watching. It's a game that I thought both teams played very hard. It's also a team that the next game is 362 days away.
So I understand the significance of it. And I remember my experience in that game was the first year when Jim Harbaugh guaranteed to win here in Ohio Stadium, and the second one was Coach Bruce's final game at Michigan, and we were able to beat Bo Schembechler and Michigan.
So the one thing I know about that game, as much as there is dislike and hatred across college football in some rivalries, there's a share of that, but there's also a lot of respect in that rivalry, and I'm looking forward to coaching in it.
4. He Will Not Tolerate Conduct Code Violations
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After Ohio State was plagued with violation after violation, many fans were worried about the Buckeyes’ reputation.
Coach Meyer is determined to fix that.
I know there's been some issues that we've had that I've had to deal with, not that we're proud of. We have a set of core values. Honesty, respect. Number one, treat everyone with respect. Number two, no drugs, no stealing, no weapons. Those are core value issues. You're either dismissed or you miss a good bunch of time playing the game.
If we had one, that's too many. Our job as a coaching staff is to mentor, to discipline and to educate young people. And we've had a pretty good track record.
We're going to go really hard and try to recruit really good people to represent Ohio State. That does not mean we're going to give up on kids. So that's kind of the belief we have here.
5. The Big Ten Is Catching Up to the SEC
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The SEC has dominated the Big Ten in practically every big game recently. Most believe that the Big Ten’s power style of play just can’t compete with the SEC’s speed.
However, Urban Meyer believes that the Big Ten is catching up.
It’s obvious that SEC right now is dominant. It's a faster league than the Big Ten. Does it mean it's a better league? When they win, I think it's five straight national titles. The top three were all in one division west. Yeah, it's the best conference in college football. Does it mean the Big Ten's far behind? I don't think it's that far.
I think you'll see the game change again. It changes all the time. There was a time where the Big 12 was pushing the SEC for who had the best team. So I see what the coach is doing at Michigan. I see other teams making -- Wisconsin making progress.
There's a lot of good stuff going into this conference. How far off we are? I think Ohio State, the team that I saw getting ready to play the Sugar Bowl year… it was SEC speed. I was blown away because I didn't really get to watch them. So I don't think the Big Ten's that far off. I think you're going to see that gap closed.