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Posted at 2:11 PM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Urban Meyer is stepping down as Florida coach

By Cindy Boren

After stellar success at Florida, what's next for Urban Meyer? (Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel)

Urban Meyer, who has won two national championships, is stepping down as the University of Florida's coach.

Meyer, according to a report, told Gators players of his decision earlier this afternoon and Florida has scheduled a press conference for 6 p.m. He will coach the Gators through the Outback Bowl, in which they'll face Penn State, on New Year's Day.

"I have been a Division I football coach for the last 25 years and, during that time, my primary focus has been helping my teams win titles," Meyer said. "I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, and I am a fierce competitor to my core. At this time in my life, however, I appreciate the sacrifices my 24/7 profession has demanded of me, and I know it is time to put my focus on my family and life away from the field. The decision to step down was a difficult one.

"But after spending more than two decades motivating and celebrating the young men I've been so proud to coach, I relish the opportunity to cheer for my three terrific kids as they compete in their own respective sports. I know how fortunate I am to be in a position to make this choice and to have a family that is as loving and supportive as my amazing wife and children have always been."

Of course, on the day after Christmas last year, Meyer, 46, said he was stepping down because of health considerations. A day later, he changed his mind and started working out more often. After a leave of absence, he was coaching the Gators again.

"It's so much different than it was a year ago,'' Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley said. "He went through some tremendous issues a year ago. But I see his face now and I see the peacefulness. He's totally at peace with the decision. He certainly has given every fiber of his body to this university. I've seen it every day. The results speak for themselves, but to get those results, how do they happen? That guy has given everything he had to this university.

"It was just time. He wants to spend more time with his family. He's got daughters who play college volleyball; he's got a son who is growing up. Urban loves his family. When all is said and done, he loves us, he loves the Gators, he loves football, he loves his players, but his world revolves around his family. I think more than anything else that was the impetus for this.''

Meyer is 64-15 in six seasons at Florida, winning a school record 22 consecutive games at one point. Florida won three Southeastern Conference titles under Meyer.

His resignation immediately starts the speculation about where he'll coach next year and one of the locales atop the list may be the NFL. His quarterback on those national championship teams, Tim Tebow, just happens to play for the Broncos in Denver. And the Broncos in Denver just happened to have fired their head coach, Josh McDaniels, on Monday night. ESPN's Chris Mortensen shoots that down, though, tweeting: There are no dots to be connected on Broncos and Urban Meyer.

By Cindy Boren  | December 8, 2010; 2:11 PM ET
Categories:  College football  
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Burn out. Or he got caught with a mistress.

Posted by: shanks1 | December 8, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

The NCAA and the BCS undermine the very notion of "higher education". The unethical, win at any cost mentality of football is central to business leaders with no moral compass other than winning more money and more benefits. If Meyer can actually content himself with the well-being of his family, good for him and likely even better for his health.

Posted by: citizen625 | December 8, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

If I'm 64, have millions of dollars, I'd be done for good. And... and if I just said that I'm done coaching to be with my family you'd be an utter moron to speculate about where I'm going to coach next. Besides what he said, the other side of this would be morons to attempt to hire him knowing that he'd not be all-in as he proved this year when he's now retired twice. Maybe in an advisory role or asst athletic director...

Posted by: NovaMike | December 8, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

"If I'm 64, have millions of dollars, I'd be done for good."...

He's 46, not 64.

Posted by: BCinDC | December 8, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

He's 46, not 64.

Posted by: BCinDC


Posted by: AdrianMole | December 8, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Anyone think he is really retiring? He's already proven himself to be the second biggest liar in sports, after Brett Favre.

Posted by: randy28146 | December 8, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

He couldnt live with the shame after the spanking Florida State gave him this season.

Posted by: nuke41 | December 8, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Good replacement for K Shanahan.

Posted by: Xlnt | December 8, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

@randy: two words. Bobby Petrino.

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | December 9, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Look at all the NFL job openings that will be decided for next year:

Titans (anyone think players have not quit on Fisher?)
Chargers (maybe -- Norv must have AJ Smith pics)

Urban just went rural on making himself available. And, you know what he is going to say when he signs up for one of these gigs: "I was getting restless. Needed a new challenge. Family supports this, blah blah blah"

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | December 9, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

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