NOTE: Urban Meyer is not leaving Florida. He's taking a leave of absence. But, still coaching the Sugar Bowl. And may still coach next season. It's an odd situation to say the least. (12.27)
In news that rocked the college football landscape, Urban Meyer will coach his last game at Florida January 1 against the Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl. The reasons for Meyer leaving are said to be health related. It's not known at this time if it had anything to do with his hospitalization after the SEC championship game. Meyer had a piece in SI where he said he had a cyst on his brain, but it wasn't life threatening. I have seen this mentioned a few times on a few sites, but no one really knows what's happening.
To repeat, Meyer will coach against Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl. This adds a huge layer to the game Friday. The Sugar Bowl is racked with coaching turmoil, from Cincinnati having Brian Kelly leave, to Butch Jones being coach and not coaching, to Jeff Quinn accepting the Buffalo job, and now Urban Meyer is stepping down from Florida. Here is what Meyer had to say about everything in a released statement by Florida.
And here's AD Jeremy Foley, by the Palm Beach Post (HT: Alligator Army)“I have given my heart and soul to coaching college football and mentoring young men for the last 24-plus years and I have dedicated most of my waking moments the last five years to the Gator football program,” said Meyer. “I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to re-evaluate my priorities of faith and family.”“After consulting with my family, Dr. Machen, Jeremy Foley and my doctors, I believe it is in my best interest to step aside and focus on my health and family.“I’m proud to be a part of the Gainesville community and the Gator Nation and I plan to remain in Gainesville and involved with the University of Florida.“I’m very appreciative for the opportunity I’ve had to be a part of a tremendous institution – from Dr. Machen to Jeremy Foley and the entire administrative staff at UF. I’m also very thankful for the chance to work with some of the best assistants in college football and coach some of the best college football players and watch them grow both on and off the field as people. I will cherish the relationships with them the most.”
“Coach Meyer and I have talked this through and I realize how hard this was for him to reach this decision,” Foley said. “But, the bottom line is that Coach Meyer needed to make a choice that is in the best interest of his well being and his family. I certainly appreciate what he has meant to the University of Florida, our football program and the Gator Nation. I have never seen anyone more committed to his players, his family and his program. Above all, I appreciate our friendship.”