Urban Meyer To Retire Following Rose Bowl

Dec 4, 2018

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer will retire from coaching following the Buckeyes' appearance in the Rose Bowl on January 1. Offensive coordinator Ryan Day will take over as head coach the next day. 

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Meyer said his decision to retire was spurred primarily by his going health problems.

Acyst in his head has been causing headaches for several years, though he's so far controlled them with medication. He had minor surgery on the cyst in 2014, but said last year's game against Penn State University marked a turning point.

"I believe I will not coach again," Meyer said.

But Meyer says his suspension at the beginning of the season also contributed to his decision. Following a long investigation by the university Board of Trustees, Meyer was suspended for three games for not properly reporting domestic violence allegations against former assistant coach Zach Smith.

"That was a very difficult time," Meyer said, saying he expects the scandal to have an impact on his legacy at Ohio State.

Meyer says he will stick around Columbus after he leaves the coaching job - and perhaps stick around the field, as well. Athletic director Gene Smith hinted that Meyer will continue his connection with Ohio State in a "new capacity," but did not go into detail.

Day said Meyer will "always be a resource to the team," and that "the door will always be open."

Meyer came to Ohio State in 2012 to take over a program still on NCAA probation for a scandal related to players trading memorabilia for tattoos. Meyer quickly restored Ohio State to national prominence by winning a national title in his third season at the helm.

In his seven seasons, the Buckeyes had remarkable success, winning at least 11 games each year. Meyer went 82–9, won the first-ever College Football Playoff in 2014 as well as three Big Ten titles. He was undefeated in all seven games against rival Michigan and started his tenure in Columbus by winning the first 24 games.

Chatter regarding Meyer's future increased after he looked more distressed and beleaguered than usual on the sideline during the 49-20 loss to unranked Purdue on October 20.

While Meyer served his suspension, Day led the Buckeyes to victories in the first three games of this season.

Day, 39, has never been a head coach. He came to Ohio State in 2017 after coaching for 17 years in college and the NFL. Prior to coming to Ohio State, he served as quarterbacks coach with the NFL's San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.

Following the 2017 season, Day turned down an offer to become the offensive coordinator job with NFL's Tennessee Titans.

Day was chosen as head coach without the university conducting a national talent search - somewhat surprising, considering Day's relative inexperience. But at Tuesday's press conference, Smith and Meyer said the decision was easy to make, especially following Day's stint as interim coach.

"We all know the tremendous job he did during a challenging time," Smith said.

Day will become the 25th head of the Ohio State football program.

"It's extremely humbling, but I'm prepared for the task," Day said.