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After years of talk, Urban finally did the right thing

Urban with kids I've heard Urban Meyer preach about what it means to be a man and the importance of family for the last four years, and while I took what he said to be a good lesson, it always lost some strength since he didn't seem to be following his own advice.

He almost did last year, but his resignation lasted just 24 hours. I'll never forget his daughter Nicki talking to reporters after the Sugar Bowl, and it was crystal clear how much she missed her dad and was worried about his health.

Her fears and Meyer's own worries weren't enough to pull him away from coaching, but that changed Wednesday, when he put family before football. He gave up his bigtime coaching job, giant salary and the spotlight for his children.

He's going to serve as an assistant coach for his son Nate's baseball team this spring, and he plans on seeing his daughters Nicki and Gigi play college volleyball next season.

This was the decision that fit the lines he always fed the media in press conferences and his players in the locker room, and he deserves a lot of respect for it.

To be honest, I never really liked Meyer as a person. Granted, the coach-reporter relationship doesn't provide enough insight to judge someone's character, but in my almost daily interactions with him from 2007-2009, he rarely provided any reason for me to like him. He was often condescending, terse and, well, an asshole.

That changed this season. Maybe it was because he relaxed a bit in light of his health scare. Maybe it was because he scaled back his media appearances by two days per week. Or maybe it was because the Gators weren't good. At any rate, he finally flashed a personality and let loose some of the dry wit that his players always talk about. A few of my favorite moments:

  • Early in the season, when reporters were hounding him to find out what responsibilities he had dropped to reduce his stress, someone asked about a player changing numbers. Meyer said he didn't know because he doesn't coach the numbers, then paused and said, "I delegated that" and started laughing, which he doesn't do often.
  • He left his shades in an interview room after the three-game losing streak, and when he came back to get them, a reporter told him he almost stole them and put them on eBay. Meyer: "You would have gotten more for them last year."
  • When a reporter kept asking leading questions that basically insinuated the reporter felt he knew how to give a better pep talk than Meyer, he smiled, took off his whistle, tossed it to the reporter and said, "Here, you coach them."

None of these are going to put you on the floor rolling with laughter, but the fact that I remember them tells you how rare it was for him to crack jokes before this year. This was the first season I'd seen him say and do things for the sole purpose of being funny, and that signaled a major change in attitude to me.

All in all, he's going out a millionaire with plenty of life ahead of him. He said he wasn't ruling out coaching again, but he wouldn't think about that right away.

By virtue of his two national titles, he should be remembered as Florida's greatest coach (I know plenty of you will argue that, but two is more than one). He gave the Gators all he had for six years, and if he's truly going to put that same effort toward being a husband and father now, he deserves nothing but respect and admiration for the decision.

Of course, he could end up coaching again in the next three years and ruin all these nice things I just wrote about him, but I'm hoping he doesn't. I'm hoping he's really going to walk the walk.

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What are your thoughts? Angry at Meyer for leaving or do you think he did the right thing? Is anyone happy he's gone? If you are, you're going to need to back that up pretty strongly. I'll be deleting the nonsense. You know who you are.

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How can anyone be angry for 2 national titles in the past 4 years? I am thankful for Meyer's time here, and while he never had the personality of a Spurrier, the product on the field was more dominant than anything we've seen save maybe the 95-96 team that won the first title.

I think losing all those players Meyer was so close with along with his top coordinators took its toll and he burned out. I wish him the best of luck and just hope when he does come back it's not against another SEC rival.

i second that big slap. meyer will make a great baseball coach! many may not know that before he started his football coaching career, he was an up and coming baseball stud in the braves organization. i'm glad urban chose football. he will go down as one of the greats in a short span, but spurrier did turn the program into a power house name, if not for that, we'd be no better than the commodores.

told you Lizards Urbie the clown was fraud.

what I now know is he is also a quitter.

Urbie quit because the NCAA Sanctions are coming, lack of Inst. Control, money from agents. Sounds like a USC type penalty is coming for UFelony.
Times are good!!!!!

His daughter at GT is HOT!!!!

REALLY people, usin the ubiquitous statement of 'spendin more time with the family' is gettin old & worn out.
SO when his family actually needed him (like when his kids were 5, 10, 15 yrs old) he had more important things 2 do & now that his family is grown an movin out he's gonna spend more time with them (sounds like the posse is closin in (lack of institutional control (30 arrests) &/or agents) or else the FBI (newton grades leakin out)).
For godsakes, his kids r in colleges around the country & 4 any of u who have kids in college u dont c'em very often except at holiday time. & another thing i bet a good # of us have never visited thier kids colleges..
So lets keep it real u all know he's workin by '12 & quite possibly '11..

Mike, thought you were going to delete the nonsense. Sanctions? If true Jeremy would not have let him reconsider last year and there would be no talk of him staying around to assist the Program. However, I do not accept the family explanation, the girls are going away to school. I also don't accept he can't handle losing the man has been in competitive sports since he has been a tyke, I believe there are medical issues that are serious and private matters. No other explanation makes sense.

Good luck in whatever you do Urban. Thanks for the last 6 years!!!

I don't believe there is any serious NCAA investigation going on at UF(texting?). Media is always on top of that stuff and I haven't heard one bit from SI - ESPN - Yahoo mention anything. Jason Cole from Yahoo who broke the USC stuff and lives in Gainesville!!! And again nothing..

I think we end up with Mullen or Strong with Stoops/Patterson/Peterson real long shots.

These cane fans are annoying, no? Geez stick to your own blog and problems. When is that Nevin Shapiro book coming out? That bears some questions.

Not happy he's gone, wish he'd regrouped and made drastic changes, but it opens the door to sever all previous allegiances... a new guy won't owe underperforming offensive coodinators or QB's any undue limelight. Performers will play, especially those five All SEC freshmen.

He'll be back to coaching somewhere when the girls graduate and the son is in high school... maybe by then we'll have taken back our spot in the Florida Big 3 from UCF or USF.

It would be nice to see Jim Harbaugh come to G-ville. He builds that smash-mouth type team that I think we need -- big tailbacks, road graider lineman, etc.

I know it would make sense though since he's bound for the NFL with a stop at Michigan on the way.

As much as the spread worked for 6 years, the smash-mouth grind it out stuff is timeless.

Copper Monkey was good stuff!

i wish people that are not UF fans would stop posting comments on here. im about to cancel my account because i dont feel like sifting through all of the "junk mail" that is constantly posted on these blogs from miami fans.

whoever created this app would be wise to constantly delete posts that are made by anyone other than a gator fan because in the end ur just gonna loose business, especially from me !!! its a pain in the ass to scrole through all of this garbage

catnround, I feel you. I'm going through and deleting those comments as often as I can, but I'm not tied to this blog all day, so they're going to be up for a few hours til I can get to them.

My advice to everyone is to just ignore it. Don't respond, don't provoke it, just do your thing and I'll do the best I can at weeding it all out.

WE SHALL OVERCOME!

U all know the noose is gettin tighter. Didnt he just say 'im gonna get this right' & didnt he tell last years recruits 'im gonna b here 4 U' & didnt he tell GAYtor nation that 'he's gonna fix this'..
So what changed??
It's just more lies from the car salesman & u all got sucked in like all the other fox (fake) news watchers & the 1's most easliy duped.
(hillbilies, bible thumpers & the ignorant)..

Per twitter: Meyer forced out at UF because of recruiting violations. Don't kill the messenger.

thank you for hearing me !! go gators !!!

I'm with cantround and you dont delete the posts you need to block mail from the sender. Seriously, the only posts you have are trash posts from trolls. Not worth bothering with for the price of the app.

@ DanM - This just in: Meyer forced out because of new evidence implicating him the murder of Tupac Shakur as well as the 911 terror plot.

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