University of Florida head football coach Urban Meyer steps down
December 8th, 2010
06:58 PM ET

University of Florida head football coach Urban Meyer steps down

Urban Meyer, head coach of the University of Florida football team, will step down after the Gators' January bowl game, Athletics Director Jeremy Foley said Wednesday afternoon.

Meyer will leave Florida with six seasons under his belt. He captured two National Championships, two Southeastern Conference Championships, three SEC Eastern Division crowns and led UF to six January bowl games in a row, gatorzone.com reported.

He was named Sporting News and Sports Illustrated “Coach of the Decade” in December of 2009.

Meyer will remain Florida’s head coach through the Outback Bowl in Tampa on New Year’s Day, the school said in a statement.

“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.”

Last December, Meyer announced that he was stepping down due to health concerns. But a day later, he reconsidered and said that he would instead take a leave of absence. He returned to his position in time for the 2010 season.

- CNN's Brett Roegiers contributed to this report.

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Filed under: College football • Sports
soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. kd

    he'll go pro

    December 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. PSUAlum

    According to an AP article on the Centre Daily Times (State College, PA's newspaper) – Urban Meyer is considered as having "the best winning percentage (.817) among active major college coaches". Not sure how our dear JoePa ranks in percentage, but CNN could have worded that better.

    December 8, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AJ

    Ok, another "retirement".....I wonder how long it will take before HE comes back....what ever happened to retiring gracefully?

    December 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. thhhhhhhhhh

    wow he cant stand losing!

    December 8, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sunnysout

    Quitting to spend time with family.. translation- I can't hack it here without Tebo!! Where's the grit that a Paterno or a Bowden has that keeps them plugging along even during the lean years when the team is nearly all new? Big Baby .....

    December 8, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Probably the hardest working coach in the country. That's why Bowden got FIRED.

      December 8, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tiger Fan

    They can have Dabo from Clemson.
    Please?

    December 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • brian

      Bahahahahaha. Don't think even Walmart would take him back.

      December 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John Henson

    You can't say the eastern division of the SEC is weakest, because there are only two divisions. In addition, I wouldn't call a division in which three teams have been SEC champions and two National champions "weak."

    December 8, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jason B.

    Right....I give him 3 months then he'll be back. Yet again. And they'll hire him, yet again.

    December 8, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. flashgordon

    This is interesting. I feel sorry for this guy. He obviously felt pressure to perform at a very high level and that took everything he had. I would ask this. What if he took 20 hours a week for himself and his family but was still the coach. He might not be as successful as he was but probably more successful than most. Ronad Reagan was president of the free world and apparently felt ok about his work/family balance.

    December 8, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Willie James

    Mike Leach and Florida!

    December 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tandtjohn

    JoePA and CNN both need to check your facts. The winningest active coach belongs to Larry Kehres at Mount Union.

    December 8, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. a slozomby

    how exactly is college football a 24/7 profession. whats mission critical about football that cant wait till 7am.

    December 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff

    Florida will soon be under NCAA investigation for recruiting and other violations.

    December 8, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • gaturds

      tick tock, that's the clock ticking gators before the ncaa drops the hammer on your little crappy program.

      December 8, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Yes I. Would

    Go to HEL! gators!!

    December 8, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. heyjorge

    To coach Meyer: Thanks for giving us the best Florida Foorball era we've ever had.
    To the haters: keep hatin' you wish you were gators.

    December 8, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
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