Urban Meyer Quits v2

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Aug 9, 2006
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Citing family interests, Urban Meyer resigned as the Florida Gators football coach today.

"I'm doing what I think is best for the University of Florida, our players and my family," Meyer said at an evening news conference. "You're judged as a husband and a father. … I've not seen my two girls play high schools sports."

Meyer, 46, didn't rule out ever coaching again, but said he didn't have any immediate plans to do so.

Florida was 7-5 in the regular season this year, the most losses of any season in Meyer's career. He said the disappointing record gnaws at him.

"Florida deserves the best," said Meyer, who plans to coach his last game Jan. 1 at the Outback Bowl in Tampa. "I'm not sure we gave them our best this year, but the timing is never perfect."

Just a week and a half ago, Meyer vowed to rebuild the Gators program after Florida got pounded 31-7 by rival Florida State.

"I can assure you we are going to rebuild this thing and build it up the right way and do it right," Meyer said after the game. "Obviously we are down a little bit. I didn't believe we'd be that far down, but we are. How do you build a program up? You build it up with tough players, tough coaches and you have got to play better."

Last Dec. 26, Meyer announced his resignation, citing health reasons. The next day he changed his mind and returned after a leave of absence.

He said this decision is firm, calling the decision last year "knee jerk" and the product of "a lot of emotion in the family."

Athletic director Jeremy Foley, who announced the decision this afternoon, said he didn't expect a change of heart this time.

"I'm at peace with his decision because he's at peace,'' Foley said.

Meyer said last year's health scare, when he was hospitalized with chest pains after the Gators lost to Alabama in the SEC championship game, played a role but indicated there hadn't been a reoccurrence.

"To say there wasn't a scare, that would be incorrect," he said. "There was, but that's not the reason for this press conference."

Meyer led the Gators to two national titles (2006 and 2008) and a pair of SEC titles.

Foley said he has not yet contacted any potential successors.

Early speculation will likely focus on former Meyer assistants Dan Mullen, now coach at Mississippi State, and Charlie Strong, now the Louisville coach.

Strong was at the St. Petersburg Pier today promoting the Dec. 21 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl where his Cardinals will face Southern Mississippi.

"I don't really want to say anything until I actually talk to Urban Meyer,'' Strong said. "I'm not surprised. You always get stuff like that in college football.''

Strong was on the Florida staff each of Meyer's first five seasons with the Gators. They previously had coached together at Notre Dame.

"Urban is just like a brother to me,'' Strong said. "We've always had a great relationship. He's a competitor. He's a great football coach. College football is like a cycle. Look at the University of Texas, they aren't even in a bowl game this year. What people have to realize is that pendulum swings. It just wasn't their year.''

Other coaches who might be in the mix include Utah's Kyle Whittingham, who replaced Meyer at Utah, Houston's Kevin Sumlin and Boise State's Chris Peterson.

Meyer said he was confident Florida would land a successful replacement. He said he was talking to recruits during the day and planned more calls this evening.

"Florida's Florida," he said. "Florida always will be Florida."

Meyer is the winningest active coach with 10 seasons or more, posting 103 victories against 23 losses for a .817 winning percentage in his 10 seasons.

He reached 100 wins in just 118 games, the second-fastest number of games to reach the century mark since 1945. Overall, only five coaches reached the 100-win mark quicker than Meyer.

"He took us to a new level, a level that may be reached again but will never be exceeded," university president Bernie Machen said.


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i guess life aint easy after timmy tebow :hurt::hurt::hurt::hurt::hurt: