Florida coach Urban Meyer resigns, citing health concerns

December 27, 2009|By Sports Digest

 GAINESVILLE, Fla. — — %HTMLlat1; %HTMLsymbol; %HTMLspecial; ]> sp.digest27.ARTFlorida coach Urban Meyer resigns, citing health concerns

Florida coach Urban Meyer resigns, citing health concerns
College football
Associated PressGAINESVILLE, Fla. - Urban Meyer resigned Saturday as Florida's football coach after five seasons and two national titles because of health concerns that came to light when he suffered chest pains after the Southeastern Conference championship game this month.

Meyer, 45, will coach his final game at the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati on New Year's Day.

He leaves No. 5 Florida with a 56-10 record that includes a 32-8 mark in league play and a school-record 22-game winning streak that was broken by Alabama in the SEC title game Dec. 5.

"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," Meyer said in a statement. "I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to re-evaluate my priorities of faith and family."

Meyer said he consulted with his family, doctors, school president Bernie Machen and athletic director Jeremy Foley before deciding it was in his best interest to focus on his health and family.

Meyer will hold a news conference in New Orleans this afternoon.

"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."

A tireless recruiter and creative motivator, Meyer came to Florida from Utah in fall 2004 amid speculation he would end up at Notre Dame.

Meyer brought most of his staff with him - some of whom worked with him at Bowling Green (2001-2002) and Utah (2003-2004). Together, they restored the program to national prominence two years later with the school's second national championship.

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