Urban Meyer is stepping down as coach of the Florida football team, athletic director Jeremy Foley announced Saturday afternoon in a release.
“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, 45, said in statement. “I have ignored my health for years, but recent developments have forced me to reevaluate 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.”
Meyer will coach his last game for Florida against Cincinnati on Jan. 1 at the Sugar Bowl.
“Coach Meyer and I have talked this through and I realize how hard this was for him to reach this decision,” Foley said in a statement. “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.”
Meyer helped the Gators win two national titles in five years at Florida. He is the only coach to win two BCS titles.
A three-time national coach of the year, Meyer is 95-18 in nine seasons. Meyer’s five-year record at Florida is 56-10, including a school-record stretch of 22 straight consecutive wins, the fourth longest streak by an SEC team and the longest in the conference in 15 years.
Meyer, 45, holds a 32-8 mark in SEC play at Florida, which is the top career SEC winning percentage among head coaches who spent five years or more in the conference.
Meyer came to Florida from Utah, where he closed out his stint with 16 consecutive wins. He began his head coaching career at Bowling Green in 2001, where he engineered the top turnaround in NCAA Division I-A football, showing a six-win improvement from the previous season. The Falcons rebounded from a 2-9 record with their first winning season (8-3) since 1994.
Courtesy of ESPN.COM