Meyer’s head coaching career started all the way back in 2001 and lasted until his retirement from OSU in 2018.
Early Life and College Career
Urban Meyer was born in Toledo, Ohio, and attended Saint John High School where he was a standout baseball player, even getting drafted by the Atlanta Braves.
Meyer attended the University of Cincinnati and played defensive back for the program’s college football team. He graduated in 1986 with a psychology degree and later earned his master’s at Ohio State University.
Urban Meyer got his start in coaching at Saint Xavier High School in Cincinnati, where he interned as a defensive backs coach. He then stepped into the role of graduate assistant coach of tight ends at Ohio State and studied under head coach Earle Bruce.
Meyer earned an assistant coaching gig at Illinois State shortly after, and he followed that up with successful assistant coaching stints at Colorado and Notre Dame.
He earned his first job as a head football coach at Bowling Green University in 2001. Across two seasons at Bowling Green, Meyer accumulated a 17-6 record and managed to bring Bowling Green into the Associated Press’ Top 25.
He then moved to Utah in 2003, taking over as head coach of the Utes. He led the team to a 22-2 record across his two-year tenure, including a 12-0 campaign in 2004 that saw the Utes win the Fiesta Bowl. He was named Mountain West Coach of the Year in 2003.
He accepted the position of head coach at the University of Florida in 2005, where he’d spend six seasons and win two BCS National Championships while posting a 65-15 record, alongside a 5-1 bowl game record, including wins at the Outback Bowl and the Sugar Bowl.
In 2008, one of Florida’s National Championship years, Meyer’s Gators took down Nick Saban’s Alabama to win the SEC Championship.
While at Florida, he coached his first-ever Heisman winner in Tim Tebow, and coached many players who would go on to have successful NFL careers.
Meyer took a year off from coaching to focus on his health in 2011, at which point his Florida contract had expired. This opened the door for him to become the new head coach at Ohio State in 2012.
While at Ohio State, Meyer led the team to an undefeated season in 2012, though NCAA sanctions resulted in a postseason ban for the Big Ten squad.
Over his seven-year tenure in Columbus, Meyer put up an incredible record of 83-9. The Buckeyes won the College Football Playoff in 2014, and made the playoffs in two of Meyer’s seven seasons in charge.
Urban Meyer’s OSU tenure was not without controversy. Ohio State fired wide receivers coach Zach Smith in 2018 after his ex-wife Courtney Smith filed for a restraining order against him.
Smith had already been given a second chance by Meyer during their time together at Florida when he was charged with domestic violence, and Meyer downplayed his knowledge of the 2015 incident in which Courtney Smith accused Zach Smith of battery, though he wasn’t charged.
Stadium‘s Brett McMurphy reported that Meyer was aware of the incident and did nothing about it.
Meyer retired in 2018, citing his health issues (he had a cyst removed from his brain in 2014) and the three-game suspension he received as a result of the Zach Smith scandal.
Still, what Meyer achieved at OSU will not soon be forgotten, having won more than 90 percent of his games and going 7-0 against arch-rivals Michigan. He was replaced as head coach by Ryan Day.
Urban Meyer’s Wife
Urban Meyer is married to wife Shelley Meyer. The couple met in college at Cincinnati, where Shelley was a nursing student. The couple dated five years before tying the knot in 1986. The couple have three children together, daughters Nicole and Gisela, and son Nathan.
Shelley and Urban Meyer live in Ohio, but reports from Austonia.com claim the pair recently began looking at real estate in Austin, Texas, adding fuel to the fire that Meyer may replace Longhorns head coach Tom Herman whose job was under scrutiny after a loss to Iowa State.
Despite these rumors, Shelley has in the past claimed, via ESPN, that she hopes Urban is done with coaching, due to the health issues it flares up in the 56-year-old.
Shelley and Urban Meyer seem to be enjoying retirement together, but only time will tell if Urban will be able to resist the urge to return to coaching.