Famed Ohio State Football Coach Is Hanging Up His Whistle


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Urban Meyer, Ohio State’s head football coach, has announced that he will retire following the Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day. Meyer’s retirement is shocking to many college football fans given his prior achievements with the prodigious Ohio State Football Program. The Buckeyes’ 39-year-old offensive coordinator, Ryan Day, will take over as head coach for the remainder of the season. Ohio State’s 54-year-old coach indicated that his primary reasons for retiring were due to health-related issues, his suspension earlier in the season, and the current strength of the Buckeye football program. This is not the first time Meyer has ‘stepped away’ from coaching to deal with health issues, as he had done so while previously at the University of Florida. When asked if this instance were truly the end of his football career Meyer replied, “It’s a complicated question.” Meyer has essentially said that he knows he will be guided in the right pathway in the future, and he would like to stay involved in football.

Meyer managed to make a name for himself during his seven-year tenure as the head coach of the Buckeyes. He achieved an 82-9 record (.901 win percentage) at Ohio State and led the team to victory in the 2014 National Championship against the Oregon Ducks. Additionally, Meyer is recognized for developing current top NFL players including Ezekiel Elliott and Michael Thomas for the high-intensity transition to the league. Most importantly, he obtained a 7-0 record against Ohio’s Big Ten rival, the University of Michigan.

Over the years, Meyer has been closely observed because of his extreme physiological reactions and responses during games. In October, Meyer released information about surgical procedure from 2014 to remove a cyst in his brain that was causing him stress-related headaches. During this fall season, these symptoms were visible to the public as Meyer overly dramatized specific moments in the game with radical facial expressions. At one point, he even collapsed on the sideline, as a result of the stress that he developed due to the Buckeyes poor playing. Meyer’s commitment as head coach has always been in question due to his mental and emotional instability. “When recruits started asking me, ‘Will you be here in four or five years?’ I didn’t want to mislead recruits,” noted Meyer. Ultimately, Meyer still was able to bring success to the program, while simultaneously dealing with personal issues.

Another factor that could have led to Meyer’s departure is the suspension he received for his abusive behaviors. Ohio State placed Meyer on a paid leave in August while they investigated his involvement in allegations of domestic abuse and violence on former wide receiver coach Zach Smith. As a result, the university handed Meyer a three-game suspension after he failed to tell the truth when asked about the incident at a Big Ten media event in July.

Despite many conflicting issues that eventually brought Meyer to this point, he still fostered a very successful coaching career in Ohio. The program is hoping Ryan Day can enlighten the team even more, as he has proven himself worthy of the head coaching position with a 3-0 record as head coach replacement earlier in the season. “Our program does not need disruption, it does not need to blow up,” said Athletic Director Gene Smith. He is hopeful that the Buckeyes will gain relevance once again in the college football world without Meyer at the helm.