Monday, November 28, 2011

Ex-BG coach Meyer named Ohio State coach

After a year off from coaching for health and family reasons, one of college football's most polarizing coaches is back on the gridiron.

Urban Meyer, who was the head coach at BG in 2001 and 2002, has been named the new head coach at Ohio State, the school announced. Meyer was officially introduced as the school's new coach in a press conference Monday evening.

Meyer used his two seasons at BG to springboard one of the most successful coaching careers of the last decade. He went 17-6 in two seasons at the helm of the Falcons, including a 51-28 win over Missouri in a 9-3 2002 season, and helped lead the Falcons into a brief period of Mid-American Conference dominance in the early 2000s.

As was the case at each of his two succeeding stops, Meyer's BG teams were known for having explosive offenses. In his second and final season at BG in 2002, the Falcons averaged 40.8 points per game, and averaged 448.9 yards per game.

His spread offense system helped turn Josh Harris into one of the the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. During the 2002 season, Harris ran for 734 yards and 20 touchdowns, while throwing for 2,425 yards and 19 touchdowns.

After BG, he spent two seasons as head coach at Utah, where he led the Utes to a BCS bowl bid in 2004, the first time that a team from a non-automatic qualifying conference made a BCS bowl game. In that game, Utah defeated Pitt.

Following the 2004 season, he left Utah to coach at the University of Florida, where he had one of the most successful six-year runs in recent college football memory.

Over those six season, he went 65-15 and won two national titles, one in 2006 and the other in 2008.

However, health is a major concern for Meyer. He initially resigned as head coach at Florida on December 26, 2009, due to health concerns. However, he announced a day later that he would only be taking a leave of absence, and did not miss coach a game for the Gators.

On December 8, 2010, following a 7-5 regular season, Meyer once again announced his resignation, citing health and family reasons.

Meyer, who spent the 2011 season as an ESPN analyst, has a 104-23 career coaching record, including a 7-1 mark in bowl games. He was the sixth-fastest coach in NCAA history to reach 100 career wins.

His contract at OSU — seven years, $40 million — is worth $26 million more, over the same amount of years, that his first contract with Florida was.

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