With his wife and two of his three children sitting a few feet away, Urban Meyer didn’t have to look very far to be reminded why he’s leaving one of the premier jobs in college football.
It’s all about family.
Meyer resigned from Florida yesterday, stepping down for the second time in less than a year. His first attempt, which lasted just a day, was for health reasons.
“At the end of the day, I’m very convinced that you’re going to be judged on how you are as a husband and as a father and not on how many bowl games we won,’’ Meyer said at a campus news conference.
“I’ve not seen my two girls play high school sports. They’re both very talented Division 1-A volleyball players, so I missed those four years. I missed two already with one away at college. I can’t get that time back.’’
The 46-year-old coach led Florida to two national titles but briefly resigned last December, citing health concerns. He had been hospitalized with chest pains after the Gators lost to Alabama in last season’s Southeastern Conference championship game.
“Last year was a knee-jerk reaction,’’ Meyer said. “This year was just completely different.’’
Meyer called Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley on Saturday to tell him he was contemplating retirement. They met Tuesday to finalize his intentions.
Meyer signed a six-year, $24 million extension in 2009, meaning he’s walking away from about $20 million in guaranteed salary. But Foley did agree to pay Meyer a $1 million retention bonus the coach would have received had he been employed Jan. 31, 2011.
Foley said the coaching search will begin immediately and hopes to have a new coach before Christmas. Although Foley declined to offer names, Utah’s Kyle Whittingham, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, and Arkansas’s Bobby Petrino are likely on the list.
Castonzo wins Agganis Boston College left tackle Anthony Castonzo will receive the Harry Agganis Award as the region’s outstanding senior football player at the New England Football Writers annual Captains and Awards banquet tonight. Framingham State senior running back David Leach, who returned to the field three years after suffering injuries in a motorcycle accident, will get the Nason Award for perseverance. Jim Jeannote, in his 34th season as the radio voice of New Hampshire football, won the George C. Carens Award for contributions to the game. UMass linebacker Tyler Holmes (Division 1 Gold Helmet), Williams quarterback Patrick Moffitt (Division 2-3 Gold Helmet), New Hampshire’s Sean McDonnell (Division 1 Coach of the Year), and Endicott’s J.B. Wells (Division 2-3 Coach of the Year) are the other honorees.
Fairley wins Lombardi Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley won the Lombardi Award as the nation’s top collegiate lineman, beating out defensive ends Da’Quan Bowers of Clemson, Adrian Clayborn of Iowa, and TCU center Jake Kirkpatrick . . . UConn running back Jordan Todman was named the Big East’s offensive player of the year.