SI.com: Urban Meyer's Gator getaway
December 9th, 2010
01:39 PM ET

SI.com: Urban Meyer's Gator getaway

After 10 years at the helm of the Florida Gators' football program, coach Urban Meyer is stepping down, citing a desire to spend more time with his family. But will the decision stick? SI.com's Andy Staples sure hopes it does.

Staples approves not because of the Gators' lackluster record this season, but because it's time Meyer chose family over the 24-hour, seven-day-a-week grind of being a head coach.
"Sometimes, we make it too complex," Meyer said. "At the end of the day, I'm very convinced that you're going to be judged by how you are as a husband and as a father and not by how many bowl games you've won."

This isn't the first time Meyer has turned over the reins of the program. Last year, a health scare prompted him to retire ... only to return less than 20 days later.

Will being away from a team that he has led to two national and SEC titles be too much for Meyer to bear? Probably not. This time around is different than last year. There is no medication that can give Meyer the time back with his family that he clearly longs for. Only making - and sticking with - the decision to walk away from his program will do that.

As for the Gators, they'll be fine, eventually. SI.com's Stewart Mandel says that while Meyer is undoubtedly one of the school's greatest football coaches, the program will still have a leg to stand on if he decides to stick with his decision to resign. Though Florida has hobbled through 2010, inundated with staffing changes and the loss of some top players, the coaching change will not doom the team next season. With Dan Mullen, Bob Stoops and Jon Gruden all being eyed for the job, it shouldn't take long for the program to rebuild and regain traction.

Up Tonight:

Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers (8 p.m. ET) - The Sixers are looking for their sixth consecutive victory tonight when they face the Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center. But look for the 17-4 Celtics to give Philly some trouble tonight on their first stop on a three-game road trip.

By The Numbers

$137 million - The low end of the contract offer spectrum the New York Yankees have presented to ace pitcher Cliff Lee. The contract will fall somewhere in the $137 million to $140 million range and will be for six years.

17.4 -Points Duke star freshman Kyrie Irving had averaged this season before being sidelined, indefinitely, with a toe injury.

11 - Number of consecutive games the Pittsburgh Penguins have won. Their most recent victory came Wednesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Filed under: Basketball • College football • Florida • Sports
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Mmmmm

    Do you have to leave...can't cha just work part-time, coach?

    December 9, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Truth Over Ignorance

    "After 10 years at the helm of the Florida Gators' football program..."- Learn to fact check. Urban Meyer left the University of Utah after the 2004 season. If you could count you would realize that he was not at Florida for 10 years.

    December 9, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. matt

    he was only the head coach for six seasons.

    December 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kevin

    he was NOT the coach for 10 years... go through the trouble to write this only to make the very first sentence completely wrong???

    December 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Wagner

    Florida will recover. I'm sure they will. I really hope Meyer stays retires this time. His health almost did him in the last time and if that wasn't enough to keep him away then I'm not sure what will. He needs to step away and let someone else take over the team. There was a poll this morning asking people who they think the next Gators coach will be, http://my-take.com/poll/who-will-be-the-gators-next-coach and Dan Mullen was the polling favorite. Last time I checked, Dan Mullen was winning. I understand that he is on everyone's list but he has already said that he didn't want to leave Mississippi. So he is out.

    December 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ivar

    The second-tier sports writers should have a field day with Urban stepping down

    December 9, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mib

    I do agree that by the end of the day you are judged as a father. I have three son's under 12 who's father decided to cut contact with them I believe for his career. He has not provided reason for his decision but has been over a year since he has attempted any contact and I have stopped sending him photos and sport schedules along with video of first golf clubs, first football games. In one year he has missed so much in their lives. But the worst part is that the boys are forever changed. They need their dad and I will never fill that role. I love sports and truley enjoy having my weekends dedicated to my kids basketball games but they are dissapointed and sad in dad. I can't imagine what they will think of character of their father when they themselves become husbands and fathers.

    December 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. crash112

    I think this guy is a basket case. He couldn't even finish on a high note. He leaves florida Football in the crapper. No wonder no one wanted to play for him this year. Atleast he could have coached his last season. I have not heard any of the die hard gator fans say this but I think this last season of his shows a certain lack of charactor. If you look back at this season it seems Urban had quit along time ago and is just now anouncing it!!

    December 9, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fh349h9

    He was there for 6 seasons not 10.....

    December 10, 2010 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |